Juventus drop points vs. Sampodria for second straight draw in Serie A
Patrice Evra scored his first goal in Serie A but leader Juventus was held 1-1 at home by Sampdoria on Sunday for its second consecutive draw.
Evra put the hosts ahead with his first goal for Juve in the 12th minute but the Bianconeri were unable to extend their lead despite having chances to do so and were made to pay. Manolo Gabbiadini struck the equalizer six minutes into the second half to earn Samp a deserved point in Turin.
The outcome sees Juve extend their advantage at the top of Serie A to four points over Roma, who face Genoa later on Sunday, while Samp, who are unbeaten since October 29, have climbed to fifth place. Juve went into the encounter having won all six of their homes games at the Juventus stadium.
Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri made three changes to the side that held Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in midweek, a result that saw Juve progress to the Champions League knockout round. Angelo Ogbonna replaced suspended Giorgio Chiellini in defence while Allegri opted to rest veteran Andrea Pirlo with Claudio Marchisio taking his place in midfield.
Alvaro Morata was chosen ahead of compatriot Fernando Llorente to partner Carlos Tevez in attack. The hosts enjoyed the majority of the early possession and sent a warning in the fourth minute.
Roberto Pereyra spotted Tevez in the box and his diagonal shot forced Sampdoria goalkeeper Sergio Romero to dive to his right to clear. Romero had no chance shortly after when Evra got behind Claudio Marchisio's cross from a corner kick and headed the ball past the Argentinian and into the back of the net.
Juve should have doubled their lead in the 21st minute but Romero produced a great save to turn a 20-yard effort around the post from Marchisio at full stretch. The home side continued to press forward and before the half-hour mark, Paul Pogba's 15-yard shot went over the bar.
Samp finally began to apply pressure of their own and created the first chance two minutes before the interval. Stefano Okaka drilled a right-footed effort from outside the area that had power but lacked precision.
Samp coach Sinisa Mihajlovic made his first substitution after the restart, with Gabbiadini replacing Nenad Krsticic. Gabbiadini put Samp back on level terms five minutes after entering the pitch.
Eder set up Gabbiadini just outside the area and he fired a low left-footed shot past Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and into the corner of the net. In the 71st minute, Allegri brought in Llorente in place of Morata as Juve went in search of the winner.
Romero was then called on to make two saves to deny Vidal and Llorente's close-range headers from Marchisio's crosses. With five minutes remaining, Buffon kept his side on level terms with an excellent save, turning aside a left-footed effort from Gabbiadini, in what was the last chance of the game.
After the lunchtime fixture, Juventus moved four points ahead of second-place Roma, which was visiting third-place Genoa later. Sampdoria moved level third on points with Genoa and Lazio. Also later, Napoli face AC Milan at the San Siro.