GENOA, Italy (Reuters) - Federico Chiesa's first-half goal and a stoppage-time Aaron Ramsey finish earned Juventus a 2-0 victory at Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday, with the win sending Andrea Pirlo's side third in the standings.
In pouring rain in Genoa, Chiesa got on the end of a fine move to put Juventus in front after 20 minutes.
Without a goal in his previous two league games, Cristiano Ronaldo endured a frustrating first half, missing several chances while also being denied by some last-ditch Sampdoria defending.
After the break, Sampdoria pressed for an equaliser, but Juve stood firm, and added a late second through Welshman Ramsey as the hosts were caught on the counter in the 91st minute.
The win moves Juve onto 39 points, seven behind leaders AC Milan, as they leapfrogged AS Roma, who are two points adrift in fourth ahead of their match with Hellas Verona on Sunday.
Sampdoria stay 10th on 26 points after a first defeat in three.
"I told the team of the importance of this match before the game," Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini told Sky Sport Italia.
"Today we played a tough match. The attitude was right and we can close a positive January in which we have grown a lot despite the winter break."
Juventus came into the contest looking to keep pace with leaders Milan after Stefano Pioli’s side had beaten Bologna earlier on Saturday, and the champions started impressively, creating plenty in the sodden conditions.
The move that gave Juve the lead was a slick one, with Alvaro Morata feeding a perfect pass across for Chiesa to score his fifth goal this month in all competitions.
Ronaldo was put through on several occasions, but Maya Yoshida twice made superb goal-saving tackles, while the Portuguese could not score even after rounding the goalkeeper.
After one more speculative effort missed the target in the second half, Ronaldo has now gone three games without a league goal for the first time since August 2019.
Late substitute Ramsey was the grateful recipient of an unselfish Juan Cuadrado pass to score his second league goal of the season to put the seal on Juve’s win.
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Toby Davis)