Juve edge closer to top six after 4-2 win over Sampdoria
(Reuters) - Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot scored in each half to help secure a 4-2 victory over bottom club Sampdoria in a thrilling game on Sunday that lifted his injury-hit side to seventh place and within sight of the last European spot.
Massimiliano Allegri's Turin outfit now have 38 points and are four behind sixth-placed Atalanta.
Juve were without several key players including midfielder Paul Pogba who has a muscle problem from training and will be sidelined until after the international break.
Angel Di Maria, Federico Chiesa and Alex Sandro were also missing with injuries they received in the 1-0 Europa League victory at home to German side SC Freiburg on Thursday.
"This morning Pogba was taking free kicks and felt a twinge in his adductor. He will have tests tomorrow but will certainly not be there on Thursday or next Sunday so we’ll see him after the break for international duty,” Allegri told DAZN.
Gleison Bremer put Juve ahead with a header after 11 minutes when he outjumped the Sampdoria defence.
Rabiot doubled the lead with another header after 26 minutes when he met Fabio Miretti's cross from the right.
The visitors then scored twice in 72 seconds just after the half-hour when Tommaso Augello tapped in a deflected shot before Filip Djuricic sent the Allianz Stadium into a shocked silence when he took a pass from the byline and fired into the corner.
Sampdoria chased another goal but to no avail and Juve's players went in at halftime with loud boos from the stands.
"I think the team must improve in game management," Allegri added. "We were leading 2-0, we had to close up the spaces and go on the counter-attack.
"The older defenders should have told off the younger ones and got them back into position. These are situations you get when players haven’t had many games for Juventus."
Rabiot became the hero of the night for the home supporters when he scored his second goal of the match after 64 minutes with a volley from the edge of the box.
"He (Rabiot) is a player you enjoy watching, he has a different engine to the others. My idea today was to give Rabiot 60 minutes and Pogba 30, but then he got injured," said Allegri.
The drama continued when Dusan Vlahovic missed a penalty for the hosts after Juan Cuadrado was tripped by Augello.
The constant pressure in the last part of the match paid off for Juve though when Matias Soule headed in the rebound after a save by Sampdoria's Martin Turk four minutes into stoppage time.
The defeat leaves the Genoa club bottom with 12 points from 26 matches, 12 points adrift of the safety zone and at risk of ending their 11-year streak in the top flight.
(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)