A 2-0 win over Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday evening, secured a third successive Serie A victory for reigning champions Juventus, as they continue to chase down leaders AC Milan.
A Federico Chiesa strike midway through the first half put the Old Lady in control on a wet night in Genoa, but struggled to reflect their wider dominance until Aaron Ramsey scored in injury-time.
After losing their last away fixture – an intense Derby d’Italia with Inter – the Bianconeri found a very different prospect facing them during an uneventful opening 20 minutes at the Marassi.
Andrea Pirlo’s side were afforded the time and space to control possession and gently probe the Blucerchiati defensive unit, with the hosts seemingly content to counter-attack when opportunity presented itself.
A break in play for treatment to Chiesa, appeared to break the Samp concentration, though, with Juventus’ next advance forward finding Alvaro Morata unmarked in the box and crossing low for the ex-Fiorentina attacker to score.
The goal was unlikely to unshackle the Blucerchiati from their conservative approach and the Bianconeri continued to dominate, but were restricted to hopeful long range efforts. A deflected Cristiano Ronaldo strike on 39 minutes only just looping over the crossbar with the help of goalkeeper Emil Audero’s fingertips.
With the rain pouring down in Liguria, Sampdoria were dealt another blow minutes into the second period, when full-back Tommaso Augello had to be heavily bandaged following a nasty clash of heads with Juan Cuadrado.
However, it was the Blucerchiati who looked the more threatening in attack, as Giorgio Chiellini was forced into a flying block by Fabio Quagliarella and Wojciech Szczesny was then tested by the ageing striker.
As the torrential weather conditions briefly started to fade, though, so did any signs that Sampdoria would find a way back into the match and , despite a number of personnel changes, the visitors started to look evermore likely to triumph.
With the clock ticking down in such difficult conditions, Juventus were happy to hold firm for another valuable three points and the Blucerchiati had simply exhausted themselves from both a physical and tactical perspective.
Then, as the match drifted into injury-time, Juan Cuadrado found himself through on goal and unselfishly rolled the ball across the box for Ramsey to slot in a second.