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December 14, 2014

ROME -- Patrice Evra scored his first goal in Serie A but leader Juventus was held 1-1 at home by Champions League hopeful Sampdoria on Sunday, ending the Turin club's home winning streak at 25 matches.

Evra, the former Manchester United left back, put Juventus ahead with a header following a corner 12 minutes in.

Allowed time to line up a shot from the edge of the area, Sampdoria substitute Manolo Gabbiadini equalized in the 51st by shooting inside the far post for his sixth goal of the season.

It was Juve's last home match of 2014, so ending the winning streak at the Juventus Stadium was especially bitter so close to completing a perfect year.

The last time Juve dropped points at home in the Italian league was a 1-1 draw with Cagliari in May 2013, while the last loss was a 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria in January 2013.

"They're really strong here. They're also tough on the road but here they have another gear," Gabbiadini said. "We struggled in the first half, which was expected, but we managed to equalize."

After the lunchtime fixture, three-time defending champion Juventus moved four points ahead of second-place Roma, which was visiting third-place Genoa later.

Juventus also drew its previous match, 0-0 at Fiorentina.

"It's too bad, because we created a ton of chances in the first half and we didn't take advantage of them all," said Juve's first-year coach Massimilian Allegri.

Sampdoria, which stretched its unbeaten streak to six matches, moved level third on points with Genoa and Lazio in the race for the final Champions League berth.

Also later, Napoli was facing AC Milan at San Siro.

Perhaps keeping in mind that the Italian Super Cup in Doha, Qatar, is coming up on Dec. 22, Allegri rested midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo.

Juventus was also without suspended defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Despite the early kickoff, Juventus was sharp from the start with Alvaro Morata and Roberto Pereyra threatening in the opening 10 minutes.

Despite his comparatively small stature at 1.75 meters (5-foot-9), the 33-year-old Evra leaped to meet a corner from Claudio Marchisio at the edge of the box and score an impressive goal. Evra, who joined Juventus on a two-year contract in July, only scored seven goals in 273 Premier League matches with United.

Midway through the first half, France midfielder Paul Pogba nearly made it 2-0 after expertly controlling a 60-yard pass from Leonardo Bonucci but couldn't find the target.

Two minutes after the break, Pereyra had a good look but his shot from a tight angle went high.

Sampdoria coach Sinisa Mihajlovic replaced Nenad Krsticic with Gabbiadini to start the half and the move paid off when Gabbiadini shot past outstretched Gianluigi Buffon to draw the visitors level.

Buffon then preserved the draw by tipping a shot wide from Gabbiadini that had deflected off the back of defender Angelo Ogbonna.

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