TURIN: Juventus held off Sampdoria to win their second match of the Serie A season 3-2 Sunday but will have to face Chelsea without star forward Paulo Dybala after the Argentina forward limped off with a thigh injury.
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 left the field 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 said that both Dybala and center-forward Alavaro Morata, who also exited with a thigh problem towards the end of the match, would be out of action until after the next international break which runs between October 4-15.
"We've got Chelsea midweek then Torino at the weekend, then we have 15 days of international break and we hope to have them back after then," Allegri told DAZN.
"Unfortunately when you play three games every week, especially in this moment, the mental effort needed is superior to the physical effort.
"So this win should give us a moment to relax because it's our first win at home and we might finish the weekend in the top half of the table. One thing at a time."
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 Dejan 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 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.