Juventus 4-1 Genoa: Bianconeri On Top of the Serie A Mountain Again (Serie A Matchday 12)

915 days, aka two years and a half since May 14, 2006: that’s how long Juventus had to wait to breathe top-ranking air in the Serie A again. Granted, it’s an ex-aequo lead for now, and too bad if those sharing 1st place with the Bianconeri are eternal rivals Inter Milan (set to clash at San Siro on November 22). This, and Juve’s seventh consecutive win (the fifth in Serie A) must sure feel good for Claudio Ranieri, who not even one month ago was seriously linked with the backside of the president’s boot.

On Thursday (for Serie A’s early matchday 12 encounter) Juve’s victims were Genoa, beaten with a (perhaps too) severe score of 4-1, goals courtesy of Grygera, Amauri, Iaquinta, and an own goal by Papastathopoulos. Genoa played well in the first half despite ending 2-0 down, but their wastefulness in front of Alex Manninger’s goal cost them dearly: after the break the Rossoblu lost whatever grip they had, worn down by the combativeness of an omnipresent Giorgio Chiellini and the talent of the ever-present Alessandro Del Piero (who may have not put his name on the scorers, but was capital in pulling the strings of well-directed passes for his teammates). Diego Milito saved face for the visitors, thanks to a penalty shot after a Legrottaglie handball.

(From Gazzetta): Juve, beginning the match with Marchionni on the field and Camoranesi on the bench, immediately made the most of the enthusiasm generated by their six consecutive victories. And what better way to start the proceedings than with a bang: a goal from Zdenek Grygera, striking an accurate right-footed diagonal shot after a good one-two pass with Del Piero, a mere 6 minutes after kick-off. 1-0 Juventus.

After their first goal, the Bianconeri turned on “cynical/winning mode“: not too much concern for showboating, a lot of concern about the final result (and the three points going with it). Genoa were waiting however: the Rossoblu attacked in numbers, always keeping the ball on the ground, and were a constant danger on the right wing (Palladino especially, having fun against his old teammate Molinaro). The visitors came close to the equaliser several times, in particular with Ferrari (header just too high) and Milito (weaving his way between Legrottaglie and Chiellini and shaving Manninger’s right post)

However, it was all an illusion for Genoa fans because right when they least expected it, Juve struck their second. It came courtesy of Amauri, displaying yet another fine example of athleticism: the Brazilian striker rose high up to meet Grygera’s right-wing cross, and his header was superb. It was Amauri’s sixth Serie A goal this season, leaving Genoa goalkeeper Rubinho only to pick the ball up from the back of his net. 2-0 Juventus.

Genoa insisted. Being down by two goals did not subdue them. Andrea Gasbarroni kept sending in crosses from the left side, one of which Marchionni almost deflected into his own net. Manninger kept close guard. Later, an offside call stopped Milito from having his winning effort counted, but replays showed that Molinaro was keeping him on. And speaking of Molinaro, the Juventus left-back had a very good opportunity to make amends after a great through ball by Del Piero, but made a mess of the one-on-one chance in front of Rubinho. At the half Juventus were leading by two, but it was a lead that based on the run of play, flattered them highly.

The second half was played at a much slower pace, as both sides had given up a lot of energy in a very vibrant first half. Juve steadied themselves, managing their two goal lead without conceding much: their defense was effective, and their counter-attacks were dangerous, especially with the entrance (after many weeks of absence) of Mauro Camoranesi in the 69th. As for Genoa, they continued to dominate ball possession but lacked penetration. Palladino’s chance early in the half (served up nicely by Milito) was but a flash in the pan, and soon enough Del Piero (once again trying his luck on set-pieces, but unsuccesfully) capped a great performance with the second assist of the night: Vincenzo Iaquinta (who had just come on for Amauri) said thanks. 3-0 Juventus.

Genoa eventually got a consolation goal with the penalty scored by Diego Milito (now on double figures in the capocannoniere charts), but it was still Juve to get the last word: Camoranesi crossed from the right, Papastathopoulos tried to clear in front of Iaquinta and ended up beating his own keeper. 3-1 and 4-1 Juventus with just minutes to go. The Bianconeri had won (or rather: won well, finally) and after a long time, could finally look down on other teams from up high. At least for now, they are at the top of Serie A standings.


Juventus F.C.
[Match Highlights]
 Genoa C.F.C.
GOALSCORERS: 6’ Grygera (J), 26’ Amauri (J), 85’ Iaquinta (J), 89’ pen. Milito (G), 92’ Papastathopoulos o.g. (J).
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Manninger – Grygera, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Molinaro – Marchionni (69’ Camoranesi), Sissoko, Tiago, Nedved – Del Piero (88’ Giovinco), Amauri (84’ Iaquinta). (bench: Chimenti, De Ceglie, Mellberg, Marchisio). Coach: Ranieri.
GENOA (3-4-3): Rubinho – Biava (80’ Papastathopoulos), Ferrari, Criscito – Potenza (61’ Bocchetti), T.Motta, Juric, M.Rossi – Gasbarroni (46’ Sculli), D.Milito, Palladino. (bench: Scarpi, Vanden Borre, R.Olivera, Jankovic). Coach: Gasperini.


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Posted in Genoa, Juventus, Serie A |

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