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Juventus Close on Seventh Consecutive Title

Juventus Close on Seventh Consecutive TitleJuventus Close on Seventh Consecutive Title

Juventus bounced back from Champions League exit by extending its lead atop Serie A to six points with a comfortable 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday.

The Italian giant bowed out of Europe’s elite club competition in midweek in agonizing fashion, a last-gasp penalty converted by Cristiano Ronaldo, following Gigi Buffon’s dismissal, proving decisive as Real Madrid progressed to the semifinals, Sky Sports reported.

But Juve displayed few signs of a European hangover and goals from Mario Mandzukic, Benedikt Howedes and Sami Khedira, coupled with Napoli’s goalless draw at AC Milan, saw the team remain on track for a seventh successive domestic league title.

Sampdoria was the last team to beat Juve in the top flight in November and it started brightly at the Allianz Stadium as Fabio Quagliarella forced a smart save from Gianluigi Buffon - back in goal after his controversial sending off against Real on Wednesday.

The host gradually established a pattern of dominance and Mandzukic gave them the lead on the stroke of half-time when he volleyed home from substitute Douglas Costa’s cross.

Costa came to the fore once again on the hour mark and his delightful chip to the back post allowed Howedes to notch his first goal for the club.

With a quarter of an hour remaining, Costa completed his hat-trick of assists by teeing up Khedira to rifle low past Sampdoria goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano as Juventus extended their unbeaten sequence in the league to 19 matches, with 17 wins.

Juventus had been given the opportunity to go clear at the top of the standings by closest challengers Napoli drawing a blank at San Siro.

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