Morata double as Juve warm up for Villarreal with Sampdoria win

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Roma (AFP) – Alvaro Morata scored twice as Juventus extended their unbeaten streak with a 3-1 win over Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday, to boost their confidence days before their Champions League tiebreaker against Villarreal.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side have not lost in the league for 15 games since November 27 and will host the Spaniards in Turin next Wednesday in a second leg of the round of 16 which is balanced 1-1.

The visitors were able to thank Sampdoria’s Japanese international Maya Yoshida for their first goal. The defender inadvertently kicked in a Juan Cuadrado cross after 23 minutes.

Moise Kean earned a penalty for Juventus, which Morata converted nine minutes later as Juve pressured the front three to consolidate fourth place, just one point behind third-placed Napoli, who travel to Verona Sunday.

Kean came close to a third before the hour mark on a Manuel Locatelli cross but Wladimiro Falcone closed the striker’s shot.

Sampdoria missed a chance to pull a goal back with a quarter of an hour remaining, Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny preventing Antonio Candreva from taking the ball after Adrien Rabiot handled the ball in the box.

But Abdelhamid Sabiri put Sampdoria on the scoreboard with six minutes left with a deflected free-kick before Morata found himself late on a Locatelli cross to seal the three points for the visitors.

Juventus are still in contention to reclaim the Serie A title they lost to Inter Milan last year, as they sit four points behind leaders AC Milan who host Empoli later on Saturday. Inter travel to Turin on Sunday.

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