Rabiot fires Europe-chasing Juventus past Sampdoria as Roma lose without Mourinho

France midfielder nets brace in 4-2 win over Sampdoria while Roma's top-four hopes dented after 4-3 loss to Sassuolo

Adrien Rabiot, centre, celebrates after scoring to put Juventus 3-2 ahead against Sampdoria. EPA
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Adrien Rabiot's brace in a 4-2 win over lowly Sampdoria ensured Juventus maintained their push for European football.

The France midfielder put Juve ahead with a first-half header and then smashed them back in front in the 64th minute after Samp had stunned the home crowd by levelling with two rapid-fire goals from Tommaso Augello and Filip Djuricic.

Youngster Matias Soule nodded home in stoppage time to make the scoreline more flattering against Samp who are bottom and 12 points from safety.

Rabiot almost left Juve in the summer but has become a key figure in Massimiliano Allegri's team, his double taking his Serie A tally to seven and moving the Turin giants to within four points of the European places.

Juventus, in seventh on 38 points, are contesting a 15-point penalty for illicit transfer activity and as it stands they would be second should their appeal be successful.

They would still be a whopping 15 points behind champions-elect Napoli but given the inconsistent form of Serie A's other top clubs they would be a strong bet to reach next season's Champions League.

Roma could have moved level on points with second-placed Inter Milan, who lost at struggling Spezia on Friday, but were stunned 4-3 by Sassuolo thanks to an Armand Lauriente double, Domenico Berardi's penalty and Andrea Pinamonti's neat finish with 15 minutes remaining.

Roma were without the suspended Jose Mourinho and had to play the entire second half a man down after Marash Kumbulla was sent off for kicking Berardi and conceding the spot-kick from which the Italy international gave Sassuolo a 3-1 half-time lead.

Mourinho's team, who netted through Nicola Zalewski, substitute Paulo Dybala and Georginio Wijnaldum, are now fifth, level on 47 points with fourth-placed AC Milan but below the champions by virtue of having played a game more.

There is little chance of Roma moving back into the top four as Milan host Salernitana on Monday night.

Mourinho was absent after his two-match ban for being sent off during Roma's defeat at Cremonese earlier this month was confirmed.

Earlier, Verona's survival bid stalled after a 1-1 draw with Monza left them five points from 17th-placed Spezia and safety.

Simone Verdi's 51st-minute opener for the hosts was almost immediately cancelled out by Stefano Sensi's tap-in from Carlos Augusto's pull-back.

Verona were saved from defeat when their former star Gianluca Caprari was denied a winner for Monza after Andrea Petagna was millimetres offside in the build-up.

Fiorentina beat bottom team Cremonese 2-0 to win their fifth straight match in all competitions, while Torino are a point behind Juve after a 2-0 win at Lecce.

Updated: March 13, 2023, 7:28 AM