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Sampdoria 0 Juventus 1: Vidal steers Juve to fourth consecutive title

Arturo Vidal scored the decisive goal as Juventus won 1-0 at Sampdoria to seal a fourth consecutive Serie A title.

A Carlos Tevez-inspired 3-2 victory over Fiorentina in midweek put Massimiliano Allegri’s team a solitary point from retaining their crown and Vidal ensured they did so with a win on Saturday. 

The Chile midfielder was left unmarked to head home with aplomb after 32 minutes at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, adding the defining touch to a deeply satisfying Serie A campaign for Allegri.

Supporters gave the former Milan coach a lukewarm welcome when he was appointed after club hero Antonio Conte stepped down in July.

But with the title in the bag, Allegri’s Coppa Italia finalists head into Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid with a historic treble in their sights.

Sampdoria made a confident start to the match, with Pedro Obiang sending a blistering strike narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

Juventus settled as Stefano Sturaro bustled into the box to have an effort charged down by Matias Silvestre in the 19th minute, while Fernando Llorente blazed over on the volley before Luis Muriel failed to turn home Samuel Eto’o’s cross on the break.

Vidal engineered space for a tamely hit drive in the 25th minute, but he made no mistake when the chance arrived to break the deadlock, heading Stephan Lichtsteiner’s left-footed cross back across goal and in off the upright.

The hosts were forced into an early change as Vasco Regini replaced fellow left-back Djamel Mesbah, although they could have been level two minutes before the break.

The lively Muriel slid a pass through for Roberto Soriano to break into the Juventus box, but the midfielder’s attempt squirmed wide of the far post – too far ahead of the on-rushing Eto’o.

Sampdoria goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano produced a save of the highest order to keep Tevez’s low strike out of the bottom corner after 58 minutes.

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci made a vital last-ditch challenge to thwart Gonzalo Bergessio at the other end, but it was a rare moment of encouragement for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s team as their visitors approached glory in total control.

Viviano kept out skidding low shots from Tevez and Claudio Marchisio as Allegri’s men were unable to add gloss to a triumphant day.

Gianluigi Buffon clawed a Muriel free-kick from the left to safety and the same played thumped agonisingly wide in stoppage time, but Juventus largely closed out victory with the assurance of champions who have lost only three league games all season.

Sat 2 May, 2015
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