Finally, the Juventus of 2009/10 exploded back into life. As the weeks and weeks drifted past after the double header wins over Roma and Lazio, Juventini across the globe looked on, wondering where that early season promise had drifted off to.
We got our answer here tonight in Turin, as Diego led the charge, tormenting Sampdoria and masterminding a 5-1 demolition job. Here are the usual marks out of 10.
Gianluigi Buffon: 6.5
A spectator for most of the game again, made a smart clearance early on and was not at fault for the goal. Celebrating the Juve goals was as tough as his night got.
About the only Juve player not to contribute to the attack, he was never tested defensively. Looks set for a run of games, with injuries to Zebina and Caceres leaving him last man standing. Juve must hope he can be counted on.
Fabio Grosso: 7
Set up Trezeguet with a great cross, almost scored himself, but rarely pressed forward. Seemingly under instructions to sit in; did that perfectly and still contributed as and when he could. A huge improvement on Molinaro, but that's not difficult!
Giorgio Chiellini: 8
Kept Cassano and Pazzini quiet for the whole game, seemingly by himself at times. Almost scored a header at a set piece, but many will be surprised that his goal was from open play.
Even more shocking is that it was almost a tap-in! Fantastic performance from the big centre back, at both ends of the pitch. Scored for the second Wednesday in a row; a nice habit!
Fabio Cannavaro: 6.5
Was solid almost all game, but a lapse in concentration allowed Pazzini a free header, which will disappoint him as much as anyone. Marshaled the defence as well as ever, and his leadership is invaluable.
Felipe Melo: 8.5
Ran the show again, nullifying countless Doria attacks, breaking up play, and giving the ball to his more creative teammates. Together with Sissoko he created a platform that Juve built on from the first minute. Impressive display, one of his best yet in Bianconeri.
Momo Sissoko: 7.5
Building a safe, solid, athletic partnership with Melo that will take some beating. With both players still recovering from injury they will only keep getting better. Picked up an early yellow card and was taken off to protect him from injury or another card.
The Diego who conquered Rome (twice!) has returned. On form like this he is unplayable, dictating the pace and flow of the game, and inspiring attack after attack. Juventini must pray it's for more than just one night. One clear assist and coaxed Giovinco into his best form with perfect passes to him.
Mauro Camoranesi: 8
Scored one and made the next; looked delighted with his own form and the teams success. Another player benefiting from the new formation, his build up play was as good as Diego's, and he gets back to cover the defence far more. Tactically aware and disciplined; a vital component in the team, makes everything come together.
Sebastian Giovinco: 8.5
Sheer magic. Brilliant down the left all night, creating chance after chance for teammates and himself. Linked perfectly with Diego, suits this position far better than earlier in the season when deployed as a lone trequartista.
A fantastic assist for Camoranesi's goal. He, like the fans, will now hope that he gets a run in the team.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to the real Amauri. Took two goals superbly, held up the ball, set up Chiellini. His every touch oozed confidence, the smile is back on his face, and every time he gets the ball he is a threat. Toyed with a Doria defence that looked solid until tonight. PLAYER OF THE DAY
Took over from Sissoko and the team didn't miss a beat.
De Ceglie: 6
Not much impact, but solidified the team, played yet another role.
Scored but could have easily had two.