In Football you just can’t train Luck!
Juventus were left to rue their misfortune after failing to reap the rewards from a dominant performance in Genova. Antonio Conte’s men shrugged off their critics by showing a strong attacking display against a spirited Genoa outfit. Vucinic and Pepe both rattled the woodwork before the winger had a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside. Conte was forced into a further defensive reshuffle after Bonucci’s sending off in Bologna. Vidal dropped back to partner Caceres at the heart of the Bianconeri rearguard, while Giaccherini stepped into the Chilean’s position on the right of the midfield three. Matri, who scored twice the first time the sides met this season, was preferred to Borriello up front. The supporters inside the Luigi Ferraris had barely taken their seats before the hosts carved out their first opportunity. Palacio scampered through on goal but found Buffon alert to deny him his fifteenth goal of the season. 

Juve’s response, however, was instant. Pepe’s low strike drew a save from Frey minutes later, while Marchisio’s saw his forward burst picked out by Vucinic shortly afterwards, only for the midfielder to steer his shot directly at the French shot-stopper. The Montenegrin, buoyed by his midweek equaliser against Bologna, was the undisputed star of the first half, dropping deep to good effect and looking to bring others into play with his unselfish approach. Yet the Bianconeri had to remain alert to the threat posed by Genoa, a side who have enjoyed a strong record on home soil this season. And the hosts almost put themselves in the driving seat when Gilardino collected with Biondini’s cross, only for the striker to send his header skywards. Juventus carved out two more opportunities before the interval. Pirlo lined up a free-kick but looped his effort over the bar. 

Vucinic then played in Matri, who saw his goalbound strike blocked by Rossi’s sliding challenge. The restart yielded a similar shape to the game, with the visitors consistently committing men forward whilst raising the tempo. And the Bianconeri almost saw their hard work pay off seven minutes after the interval, when Vucinic rose highest in the area to connect with Pirlo’s corner and glance a header onto the crossbar. Provider went close to turning goalscorer moments later, with Frey proving equal to Pirlo’s rasping strike from distance. Again Juventus piled on the pressure and Vucinic was unlucky to see his header cannon back off the post, before Pepe also hit the upright after timing his late arrival to perfection. 

Sensing an opportunity on the counter, the Rossoblu lifted their heads and drove forward. Kaladze caused a moment of panic when he was found unmarked at the back post, but Buffon again responded positively to the defender’s effort, parrying the left-footed strike away from danger. The main talking point of the game arrived midway through the second half. Pepe thought he had given Juve the lead after stealing in to tap home at the back post, only to see the linesman’s flag raised for a contentious offside. This proved to be the winger’s last contribution as Dutch winger Elia came on to operate down the right flank. As the game wore on, Del Piero and Borriello came on in place of Matri and Giaccherini to add some fresh legs to the Bianconeri strikeforce, yet the visitors were unable to snatch the goal their attacking display more than merited. 


GENOA Frey; Rossi, Carvalho, Kaladze, Moretti; Jankovic (Constant 61), Kucka, Biondini (Bellusci 88), Sculli (Mesto 46); Gilardino, Palacio. Substitutes not used: Lupatelli, Veloso, Zé Eduardo, Jorquera. Manager: Marino. 

JUVENTUS Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Caceres, Vidal, De Ceglie; Giaccherini (Borriello 88), Pirlo, Marchisio; Pepe (Elia 71), Matri (Del Piero 76), Vucinic. Substitutes not used: Storari, Marrone, Padoin, Quagliarella. Manager: Conte (touchline ban, Alessio on the bench). 

REFEREE: Rizzoli ASSISTANTS: Cariolato, Marzaloni FOURTH OFFICIAL: Valeri  

BOOKED: Kucka 19, Pepe 37, De Ceglie 40, Jankovic 59, Moretti 67