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Cuadrado winner puts Juve 10-points clear at the top once more

Juventus' Sami Khedira in action against Sampdoria.

Juventus' Sami Khedira in action against Sampdoria.

Juan Cuadrado's seventh-minute goal helped Juventus preserve their dominant lead at the top of the Serie A table while ending Sampdoria's unbeaten run.

The 1-0 victory at the Marassi means Juve are once again 10 points clear of Napoli, who beat Empoli earlier today, with only nine games of the season remaining.

Chelsea loanee Cuadrado missed last week's victory over AC Milan but featured in the Champions League win over Porto, and that 45-minute outing put the energy in his legs he needed to race in behind the Samp back line and nod in a sumptuous Kwadwo Asamoah cross.

The Blucerchiati, who had won five and drawn two of their last seven games, offered little attacking threat but proved hard to break down, and they head into the international break occupying a comfortable ninth-place berth in the league.

In today's lunchtime kick-off, Napoli resisted a late fightback from lowly Empoli to win 3-2, lifting them above rivals Roma.

Lorenzo Insigne followed up his brace against Crotone with another double, the Italy striker opening the scoring and then converting a penalty after Dries Mertens had notched in spectacular style to reach 20 goals for the season. The Belgian had earlier seen his spot-kick saved by Lukasz Skorupski.

The Azzurri thought a three-goal lead over the 17th-placed club was enough to see them through but Empoli thought otherwise with Omar El Kaddouri spoiling the southerners' clean sheet before veteran substitute Massimo Maccarone scored a late penalty to set up a nervous finale.

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