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October 30, 2009

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Juve crushes Sampdoria, Pedro brace for Barca

JUVENTUS crushed visiting Sampdoria 5-1 on Wednesday to leapfrog the Genoa side into second place in Serie A but AC Milan's revival stalled when last-gasp goals earned Napoli a 2-2 draw.

Juventus emphatically ended a run of indifferent form, dominating throughout and denting Sampdoria's hopes of being title contenders with goals by Giorgio Chiellini, Mauro Camoranesi, David Trezeguet and an Amauri double. The Turin side has 21 points from 10 games, one fewer than leader Inter Milan, and one more than Sampdoria.

Napoli salvaged a remarkable draw thanks to Luca Cigarini's 90th-minute volley and German Denis' stoppage-time header after Milan had led from the sixth minute with strikes by Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato.

Milan is now joint fifth with 16 points alongside Genoa, which beat Fiorentina 2-1 at home, while promoted Parma climbed to fourth on 17 with a 2-0 home win over Bari.

Juventus made a cracking start with fluent one-touch football and Amauri pounced when the ball bounced around after a corner to set it on its way in the 26th minute.

Defender Chiellini got on the end of a cross to score shortly before the break, while Camoranesi rifled in and Amauri was on target again with a header to put the result beyond doubt in the second half.

Scoring drought

The brace was the forward's fourth goal in three games after he ended a scoring drought which stretched back to February. Frenchman Trezeguet completed the rout after Giampaolo Pazzini had pulled one back for the visitors.

In Spain, Pedro scored twice to give champion Barcelona a 2-0 lead over third-tier side Cultural Leonesa in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey.

Real Madrid's astonishing 0-4 defeat to another Segunda B team Alcorcon on Tuesday had raised expectations that Cultural might surprise Pep Guardiola's weakened Barcelona, but that was never really on the cards.

Bojan Krkic's snaking run helped set up Pedro for the opener after 41 minutes, and another product of the Barcelona youth system, forward Jeffren, curled in a cross that left Pedro free to volley the second just after the hour mark.

Earlier, three second division sides complicated the lives of their top-flight visitors by establishing first-leg advantages.

Rayo Vallecano beat last season's finalist Athletic Bilbao 2-0 with early goals from former Bilbao midfielder Nestor Susaeta and veteran striker Sergio Pachon.

Hercules rallied for a 2-1 win over Almeria and Celta Vigo overcame Tenerife by the same scoreline.

Joaquin earned Valencia a narrow 1-0 victory over Segunda B Alcoyano, and the 2007 and 2008 finalist Getafe beat La Liga rival Espanyol 2-0 at home with goals from Juan Albin and Jaime Gavilan.


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