Juventus held off Sampdoria to win their second match of the Serie A season 3-2 on Sunday but might have to face Chelsea without star forward Paulo Dybala after the Argentina forward limped off injured.
Dybala opened the scoring early at the Allianz Stadium, with Leonardo Bonucci and Manuel Locatelli netting the other goals to move Juve ninth on eight points, but soon afterwards the 27-year-old limped off in tears after the latest in a long line of injuries.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side host holders Chelsea in their second Champions League group match on Wednesday and the coach will be hoping for a positive result from tests on Monday after putting Dybala at the heart of his team.
Dybala got off to a great start by flashing home his third goal in all competitions this season with nine minutes on the clock, striking home a beautiful first-time finish after Manuel Locatelli’s shot was blocked.
The hosts were affected by Dybala’s emotional exit and performed worse without him on the field but looked to have taken a big step towards victory when Bonucci slotted home his penalty in the 43rd minute.
Samp responded immediately though and almost pulled one back through Fabio Quagliarella before Maya Yoshida nodded the away side back into the game from Antonio Candreva’s whipped cross two minutes before half-time.
Juve have lost points from winning positions three times in their first five matches but Manuel Locatelli re-established the hosts’ two-goal lead in the 57th minute with his first Juve goal after almost setting up Federico Chiesa seconds before.
Locatelli flicked his Italy teammate through on goal, but after dribbling past three players in an attempt to fashion a shooting chance in a packed penalty area Chiesa was blocked.
However the ball found its way to Kulusevski, who pulled back to Locatelli for a simple tap-in.
Home supporters were again worrying about the result though with seven minute remaining when Candreva met Adrien Silva’s pull back with a well taken first-time finish, but that turned out to be the match’s last significant act.
Later on Sunday is the first Rome derby of the season, with Jose Mourinho’s Roma taking on Lazio with the chance to move within one point of Serie A leaders Milan, before Napoli host Cagliari aiming for top spot in the day’s late match.