Serie A

Juve tightens Serie A grip with win

FINE TUNE
Arturo Vidal scored twice during Juventus' victory over Sampdoria.
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MILAN (AP)

Juventus eased to a 4-2 win over Sampdoria to restore its eight-point advantage at the top of the table after Roma comfortably beat relegation-threatened Livorno 3-0 on Saturday.

Arturo Vidal scored twice for Juventus in a fantastic first half. Paul Pogba also netted a brilliant effort as Antonio Conte's team cruised to a record-extending 12th successive victory.

Sampdoria never gave up and its tenacity was embodied by Manolo Gabbiadini, who hit the post and the crossbar as well as scoring.

Roma briefly reduced Juventus' advantage to five points after goals from Mattia Destro, Kevin Strootman and Adem Ljajic.

Livorno remained bottom of the standings, four points off safety ahead of the rest of the round.

Having set a club record with its 11th successive win last week, Juventus was looking to close in on Inter Milan's record of 17 consecutive victories, set in the 2006-07 season.

Juventus broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when Pogba sent a delightful through ball in for Vidal to flick into the bottom right corner with the outside of his boot.

Gabbiadini almost immediately leveled but his effort scraped the outside of the post.

Juventus extended its lead minutes later when Fernando Llorente leapt highest to powerfully head in Carlos Tevez's corner.

Tevez almost got on the scoresheet but he was denied by a combination of the right post and then Sampdoria goalkeeper Junior Da Costa.

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Samp reduced the deficit seven minutes from time when Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli slid in to block Gabbiadini's cross but succeeded only in turning it into his own net.

Juventus restored its two-goal advantage minutes later as Vasco Regini was adjudged to have fouled Vidal and the Chilean lashed home the resulting penalty.

Samp got back into the game again midway through the second period. Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon pulled off an excellent reaction save to keep out Regini's header but Gabbiadini fired in the rebound.

And Samp was almost immediately level but Gabbiadini's effort cannoned off the crossbar.

Pogba sealed the match 12 minutes from time when he curled a magnificent strike from 20 meters into the top right corner.

In the capital, Roma dominated and got off to the perfect start when Ljajic's cross was flicked on by a wayward Gervinho backheel for Destro to tap home in the sixth minute.

Roma doubled its lead in the 36th when Destro chipped the goalkeeper and, although Nahuel Valentini slid in for a goal-line clearance, Strootman lashed home the rebound from close range.

Gervinho had a goal ruled out for offside a minute before halftime, but Roma sealed the result in the 78th when Ljajic cut inside before curling a shot into the near bottom corner for his first goal since September.

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