Massimiliano Allegri’s tenure as Juventus coach ended in defeat on Sunday, as his side fell to a late 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Serie A.
Gregoire Defrel pounced to break the deadlock in the dying minutes and deny Allegri a positive send off, with the tactician set to leave Juventus after five seasons at the helm. Gianluca Caprari’s wonderful freekick in stoppage time ensured the hosts secured a hard-fought victory.
An uninspired performance from the visitors saw them offer little threat, although Moise Kean had the ball in the back of the net moments before Defrel’s effort, only to see his goal ruled out for offside.
A scrappy first half saw little early goalmouth action, with Rodrigo Bentancur seeing a shot charged down in the box after a smart Kean backheel.
Midway through the first period Sampdoria threatened their visitors with their first meaningful effort. After a corner was partially cleared, Dennis Praet floated the ball to the back post for Fabio Quagliarella to cut back across the face of goal, forcing Giorgio Chiellini to hook off the line.
With half an hour gone Bentancur found another opening as Juan Cuadrado cut inside and teed him up on the edge of the box, but the Uruguayan could only rifle over.
At the other end, Quagliarella came within inches of extending his lead in the Capocannoniere race as he acrobatically met a bending Gaston Ramirez cross from deep, but saw his volley nestle into the side netting.
Juventus came flying out of the blocks after the break and ought to have broken the deadlock early, but Kean sliced wide in the box from a low Mattia De Sciglio cross.
Minutes later, Paulo Dybala met a clearance from a corner with a vicious half volley that whistled just inches over the crossbar, leaving goalkeeper Rafael helpless.
Kean had the ball in the back of the net late on, but was called back for offside. Debutant Manolo Portanova released his fellow teenager with a wonderfully-weighted through ball and Kean made no mistake in racing through to slot home but was immediately flagged, and VAR ensured the goal was ruled out.
Sampdoria almost punished the Bianconeri moments later as they forced a corner and substitute Ronaldo Vieira met a high clearance with an overhead kick, falling just yards past the far post.
With only five minutes remaining the Blucerchiati eventually broke the deadlock as Defrel sealed the win. After smart flick on to Manolo Gabbiadini, the former Roma striker collected the return pass and saw a weak effort wrong-foot Carlo Pinsoglio.
The result was put beyond all doubt in stoppage time, as Caprari bent a stunning freekick into the top corner, leaving Pinsoglio with no chance.
Juventus and Allegri stumble over line
It has been a torrid few weeks for Juventus, who have failed to win in over a month, labouring to three draws and two defeats. Worse still, the once-imperious Bianconeri defence has failed to keep a clean sheet in 10 matches for the first time since 2009.
Allegri has enjoyed almost total domestic dominance since taking over in 2014, but his swansong has been one to forget as Juventus limped towards the end of the season. Fortunately for them, early season supremacy meant the Scudetto had long been wrapped up.
Quagliarella remains on course for Capocannoniere
Although he was unable to add to his tally of 26, Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella looks set to win the Capocannoniere award as Serie A’s top scorer. Although he will keep a keen eye on former teammate Duvan Zapata’s exploits as Atalanta take on Sassuolo in the evening kick-off, a four-goal cushion should see Quagliarella claim the prize.
The veteran has enjoyed an evergreen campaign and will become the second oldest winner of the award after Luca Toni in 2015, but the oldest to win it outright after Toni shared the spoils with Mauro Icardi.