Antonini 94 (G)
Serie A – Week 9 [29th October 2014] – Stadio Luigi Ferraris
For those of you who were disappointed by the Sassuolo result, well, you should have saved your frustrations for this match. Juventus came into Marassi to play Genoa and struggled mightily. Perhaps an Andrea Pirlo freekick could have done the job this time, but the team had already failed to capitalize on several opportunities throughout the match.
The last minute goal was just another insult. The game was seconds away from finishing 0-0, so a poor result – by Juventus standards – was already guaranteed. But a last second, seemingly innocuous, Genoa attack became lethal when Luca Antonini was left unmarked in the box. Giorgio Chiellini was closest to him, but Kwadwo Asamoah also aimlessly stood by while Ale Matri sent in a floating cross. The two men would react, but only too late. Chiellini even nearly cleared the ball off the line, but that was a task too great.
Juventus by and large were not poor, but they hardly put on an encouraging presentation. They dominated possession, and they did create a few dangerous chances. However, Matia Perin stifled those, and the team struggled to really keep pressure on the opponent’s 18 yard box consistently. While a fine goalkeeping performance from an opposing keeper is not new to Juve, the side usually finds a way to score one goal, today this was not the case.
Carlos Tevez was not as much of a threat as he usually is, perhaps because he was so often forced to receive the ball in build up play outside of the box, and thus unable to create a chance within a few steps. His striking partner Fernando Llorente was also less than stellar, though Alvaro Morata was encouraging in the twenty minutes or so he played.
There were not really any standout performers for Juventus though. As always, Gianluigi Buffon made some great saves – sadly his 500th appearance was ruined by the last second goal – Arturo Vidal made some good tackles – eight, in fact – and Paul Pogba impressed us with a few choice dribbles. But nothing in particular really stood out or helped Juve excel, and this was accounted for on the pitch.
It seems on this day, “fino alla fine” was what Genoa was saying, as that side’s players were the ones who pushed forward late in the game to get a last gasp winner. It was a poor result for Juventus, and Roma’s win over Cesena sees the two sides level atop Serie A. Juventus coach Max Allegri blamed the poor condition of the pitch for the result, but the truth is that Juventus did not play well enough to win. It was similar to their European struggles, but on the stage of Serie A. It must be something about those midweek games that spas the team of their drive.
Juventus have a chance to recoup points this weekend versus Empoli, but then they return to Champions League action versus Olympiakos on Tuesday. That game begins a Champions League run of three final games that are more or less must wins for Juventus. They also play Parma on November 9th, before the international break grants the side some break ahead of a frenzied three week period between November and December which will dictate much of how we judge this season.
|Man of the Match:||Perin
|Flop of the Match:||N/A||Pass Accuracy:||73%||Ball Possession:||57%|
|Fouls:||17||Shots on Target:||4||Formation:||3-5-2|
Genoa: Perin; Marchese, De Maio, Burdisso; Rosi (Antonini 81), Mandragora (Kucka 69), Greco, Antonelli, Bertolacci; Pinilla (Matri 87), Perotti
Juventus: Buffon; Ogbonna, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal (Pereyra 80), Marchisio, Pogba, Asamoah; Tevez, Llorente (Morata 65)