Sampdoria hold Juve in thriller

Reuters, ROME

Tue, Sep 14, 2010 - Page 19

Juventus big spending in the transfer window failed to pay dividends again on Sunday when their defensive weaknesses were exposed in an exciting 3-3 home draw with coach Luigi Del Neri’s former side Sampdoria.

Nicola Pozzi hit a double and Italy forward Antonio Cassano was on target as the visitors frustrated the man who steered them to a fourth-place finish last term.

Goals by Claudio Marchisio, Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella at least made sure Juve got their first point after they lost their opener 1-0 at Bari despite almost a whole new team of signings after last season’s miserable campaign.

Chievo Verona top the standings with six points after maintaining their perfect start with a 3-1 victory at Genoa.

Del Neri can take consolation from the misadventures of other big teams expected to mount a title challenge.

Juve are level with last season’s runners-up AS Roma, who were thrashed 5-1 at Cagliari on Saturday, and two points behind AC Milan, who lost 2-0 at promoted Cesena.

Treble winners Inter scraped a 2-1 home win over Udinese on Saturday and have four points.

“Teams don’t always get things right in tactical and physical terms at the start of the season, especially when there are lots of changes [in the squad],” Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero told Rai television.

Sampdoria had the better of a lively opening spell and Cassano should have made more of two fine opportunities.

Pozzi, in the starting lineup after a back problem ruled out Giampaolo Pazzini, went close twice before latching on to a Cassano pass and using the ample space to fire home in the 37th.

Marchisio replied for Juve six minutes later thanks to a shot with the outside of his right foot after Milos Krasic headed on Del Piero’s cross from the right.

Pepe had the last say in a goalmouth scramble to put Juve in front five minutes after the break but Cassano restored parity with a diagonal shot that crawled into the net in the 64th after Marco Storari got a hand to it.

Quagliarella touched in the rebound from a Pepe shot that hit the post but Pozzi then headed in his second goal in the 73rd to deny the hosts victory.

Chievo are top after Davide Moscardelli struck before halftime to wipe out Mattia Destro’s early opener for Genoa before Michele Marcolini and Sergio Pellissier clinched the win in the second half.

Lazio claimed their first points by beating visitors Bologna 3-1, Fiorentina went down 1-0 at Lecce and Catania prevailed 2-1 against Parma in Sicily.

Brescia beat visiting Palermo 3-2 while Napoli and Bari drew 2-2.