Juve makes strong start to Coppa Italia defence

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A free-kick from Juan Cuadrado gave the reigning champions a 25th-minute lead, while Daniele Rugani's first Bianconeri goal in almost three years doubled the advantage after the break.

Andrea Conti replied for Sampdoria, whose fortunes were overseen by Felice Tufano following the sacking of coach Roberto D’Aversa on Tuesday (AEDT).

But substitute Paulo Dybala put the hosts back in control, before Alvaro Morata's penalty sealed their place in the quarter-finals.

Juventus had won eight of their nine previous Coppa Italia meetings with Sampdoria, while its had not been eliminated from this stage of the competition since 2005.

The Bianconeri made a strong start as Cuadrado tested Wladimiro Falcone with a fierce drive, but soon after there was no denying the Colombian, who drilled a low free-kick into the far corner.

Juve thought they had doubled its lead when Morata swept home within 60 seconds of the restart. But the Spain international was denied by VAR after Adrien Rabiot was adjudged to have fouled Tomas Rincon in the build-up.

The second goal arrived seven minutes after the interval; Rugani, who last found the net for Juventus in February 2019, climbed to nod home Arthur’s inviting cross.

Despite a turbulent build-up that included the departure of D’Aversa, Sampdoria responded in the 63rd minute. Unmarked at the far post, Conti was allowed too much time to control before drilling past Mattia Perin.

However, its hard work was undone almost immediately as they were robbed of possession outside the penalty box, with Dybala gratefully sweeping home.

Morata then put the icing on the cake from the penalty spot after Marley was brought down by Tommaso Augello.


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