Serie A: Chelsea loanee Juan Cuadrado the hero for Juventus
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 19/03/17 11:22pm
Juan Cuadrado's seventh-minute goal helped Juventus preserve their dominant lead at the top of the Serie A table while ending Sampdoria's unbeaten run.
The Chelsea loanee raced in behind the defence and nodded in a sumptuous Kwadwo Asamoah cross, not long before Paulo Dybala limped off injured.
The 1-0 victory at the Marassi means Juve are once again eight points clear of Roma - who beat Sassuolo later on Sunday - while Napoli's earlier triumph over Empoli leaves them 10 points off the title pace.
Sampdoria, who had won five and drawn two of their last seven games, offered little attacking threat but proved hard to break down, and they head into the international break occupying a comfortable ninth-place berth in the league.
The late game saw Roma respond to Juve's result and soothe their Europa League hangover by downing Sassuolo 3-1 in the capital.
Gregoire Defrel gave the lowly northerners a surprise ninth-minute lead but Leandro Paredes soon restored parity and Mohamed Salah struck in first-half stoppage time to turn the game around. Midway through the second period, Bosnian substitute Edin Dzeko reached 21 goals for the 2016-17 campaign.
In the lunchtime kick-off, Napoli had resisted a late fightback from lowly Empoli to win 3-2.
Lorenzo Insigne followed up his brace against Crotone with another double, the Italy striker opening the scoring and then converting a penalty after Dries Mertens had notched in spectacular style to reach 20 league goals. The Belgian had earlier seen his spot-kick saved by Lukasz Skorupski.
Empoli then rallied, with Omar El Kaddouri spoiling the clean sheet before veteran substitute Massimo Maccarone scored a late penalty.
Lazio had an opportunity to close the gap on third when they visited Cagliari but the Sardinians held them to a goalless draw.
Atalanta are also targeting a lofty finishing position and had no such worries in front of goal when they trounced basement boys Pescara 3-0 in Bergamo.
Argentinian forward Alejandro Gomez both opened and closed the scoring, first converting Hans Hateboer's 13th-minute assist and then rubber-stamping the outcome in the third minute of second-half stoppage time, as Alberto Grassi had notched in between times for the sixth-placed side.
Fiorentina needed a last-gasp goal from Nikola Kalinic at Crotone to record a 1-0 victory that keeps their dream of securing European football alive.
Elsewhere, Bologna banished any lingering fears of relegation by pulling 19 points clear of the drop zone with a 4-1 home win over Chievo.
The Rossoblu had to recover from behind to claim their best result since December as Lucas Castro had put the visiting Flying Donkeys ahead five minutes before half-time.
When play resumed, Bologna let rip, with Simone Verdi equalising before Blerim Dzemaili bagged a brace, leaving substitute Federico Di Francesco to add the gloss.
Palermo were pushed closer to the dreaded drop by Udinese, who beat them by the same scoreline at the Dacia Arena.
Again the visitors took the lead, with Roland Sallai giving the 18th-placed club a promising start, but Cyril Thereau, Duvan Zapata, Rodrigo de Paul and Jakub Jankto condemned the Sicilians, who lost Alessandro Diamanti to a red card, to their 20th defeat of the season.
The gap to safety stands at eight points.