MATCH REPORT: GENOA 1-3 JUVENTUS.

The Old Lady never makes it easy.


Juventus took a long time to break Genoa down with Paulo Dybala’s first Serie A goal of the season, then a pair of Cristiano Ronaldo penalties sealed the win.

The Bianconeri were fresh from their best performance of the season, beating Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou, but had struggled against smaller clubs. Despite his ban being halved on appeal, Alvaro Morata was still left on the bench in favour of Paulo Dybala, with Giorgio Chiellini and Merih Demiral injured. The Grifone missed Cristian Zapata, Davide Biraschi, Federico Marchetti, Domenico Criscito, Francesco Cassata and Davide Zappacosta. This was Cristiano Ronaldo’s 100th competitive game in the Juventus jersey. Adrien Rabiot had the ball in the net within 90 seconds, but he’d used his arm after Leonardo Bonucci knocked on the free kick and the midfielder was booked.

Mattia Perin made a good reaction save on Weston McKennie’s header and Rodrigo Bentancur drilled wide from a promising position, but while Juve were dominating possession, they had very few actual shots on goal. Federico Chiesa’s error sparked a Genoa counter-attack from a Juve corner, but the winger made up for it by sprinting back for the decisive tackle on Marko Pjaca. Another McKennie header on a corner sailed over and Paulo Dybala’s curler was too close to Perin, as Juve attacked constantly in the first half, but without creating many genuine chances. The deadlock was finally broken for both Juve and Dybala with his first Serie A goal of the season. McKennie flicked on a long ball with his head for Dybala, who cut inside from the right and drilled left-footed in the near bottom corner, wrong-footing both Perin and the defender. Federico Chiesa hit the back of the net with a precise angled drive, but that was ruled offside for Ronaldo’s position in the build-up.

However, Genoa equalised moments later with a combination of ex-Juventus players. Luca Pellegrini floated a cross to the back post for Stefano Sturaro’s cushioned volley from the tightest of angles. Dybala thought he’d scored another with an overhead kick when Ronaldo’s effort was parried into his path, but La Joya was offside and it was the second Juve goal disallowed. Perin was decisive with a reaction save from point-blank range on Ronaldo’s header, but Genoa gave away a penalty with Rovella’s mistimed lunge on Cuadrado and CR7 celebrated his 100th game in the Juve jersey by converting a central but powerful penalty.

Genoa shot themselves in the foot again, as Alvaro Morata intercepted the terrible Pellegrini backpass and was brought down by Perin. Ronaldo converted this penalty too, firing it into the roof of the net.


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