Antonio Conte quick to praise Sampdoria after their 2-1 win over Juventus
Juventus head coach Antonio Conte was quick to praise Sampdoria after their 2-1 win over the Serie A leaders.
Last Updated: 07/01/13 11:23am
Juve's players had been tasked with outstripping last year's record-breaking haul of 94 points and that mission certainly got off to an auspicious start when Sebastian Giovinco converted a penalty in the first half.
Samp defender Gaetano Berardi was dismissed for picking up two yellow cards before the break but the numerical advantage did little to further Juve's cause, as Mauro Icardi struck twice in the second half to inflict a third defeat of the season on the reigning champions.
And with Lazio and Napoli both picking up impressive wins - against Cagliari and Roma respectively - Juve's lead has been trimmed to just five points.
Conte remained philosophical, though, telling the club's website: "Let's congratulate Sampdoria. They did well and had a slice of luck.
"It's never easy to win at our place, but we need to conduct a deep analysis in order to work out exactly what happened.
"You can't lose games that you've dominated for long spells, where you go into the interval a goal to the good, playing against 10 men. I'm very disappointed about this.
"However, let's not forget that we're following a path of development and need to continue to keep our feet on the ground.
"Even more so now, given the month and a half of fixtures we have to face without important players."
Midfielder Claudio Marchisio will have a role to play in a busy six weeks, though, after tests revealed he had not suffered a serious injury during last night's match.
The 26-year-old was withdrawn 10 minutes from time with a suspected broken leg, but MRI scans subsequently revealed only a heavy bruise to his knee.
Matchwinning striker Icardi enjoyed possibly his best day in Samp colours since leaving Barcelona in 2011, scoring his first goals since a derby victory over Genoa with a well-taken brace.
The 19-year-old Argentinian told Gazzetta.it: "Was this the best day I've had in Italy? Yes, apart from the derby this was an absolutely incredible day.
"We're back to winning ways. We were a man down and had to fight, in this stadium you can't afford not to."
Samp's unlikely win, Delio Rossi's first since replacing Ciro Ferrara as head coach, sees them climb to 14th in the league table having arrested a run of three straight defeats.