Genoa 1-3 Juventus: 5 key observations from the match | Serie A 2019-20
- Juventus secured a crucial win against Genoa on Tuesday to go four points clear at the top of Serie A.
- Here are five key observations from the exciting game.
Only one position out of the red zone, Genoa were prepared to do whatever it took to increase their chances of staying in Italy's premium league. Juventus, on the other hand, needed to consolidate their position at the top of the standings with a win, especially with Lazio closing in right behind them.
The game at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium eventually went in favour of the Bianconeri after a hard-fought first half with no goals for either side and a more vibrant second half.
The Turin giants quickly found their rhythm at the start of the match and dominated the proceedings with ease. Although nothing happened for either side through the first half, it was quite clear that the visitors were running the show and Genoa were simply willing to sit tight and bear the brunt of the onslaught.
Cristiano Ronaldo teamed up with his strike-partner Paulo Dybala in an intense forward momentum that created chances, but Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin was at hand to consistently thwart their plans. Notably, the Portuguese wing-forward took five shots at Genoa's goal in the first half alone.
The second half, however, saw Genoa's defence crumble as Dybala and Ronaldo found the net within minutes of each other. The Argentina international received the ball from Juan Cuadrado, dribbled his way around four opposing players and laced a bottom-corner shot that deflected off Perin's hand and into the goal.
Intent on besting Mattia Perin as well, Ronaldo put Juventus two goals ahead after a mazing run from deep in the midfield. Latching onto Miralem Pjanic's pass, he drove towards the box, cut the ball to his right foot and unleashed an unstoppable shot to the right corner of the goal.
Dybala wasn't done with his involvement in goals just yet, as he assisted super-sub Douglas Costa in scoring the Bianconeri's third goal of the game. Costa, although having just entered the game, produced a brilliant left-footed dipping curler that stunned Perin to one spot.
Three minutes later, Genoa were on hand to score their first goal of the game, with Andrea Pinamonti taking credit for a brilliant finish. A cross from Davide Biraschi found Pinamonti on the far left end of the box, and the 21-year-old striker dribbled past Cuadrado before roofing it beyond Wojciech Szczesny and into the goal.
Genoa remain one point above relegation but could easily find themselves in the red if results elsewhere go against them. Juventus, on the other hand, now sit four points ahead of Lazio with one hand on the Serie A title.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five key observations from the game:
#1 Genoa seem unable to close down while defending
Through much of the first half, Juventus maintained possession and were in control of the proceedings while Genoa sat back in a structured shape that kept the Juventini just outside the box. However, the hosts' defensive style came back to bite them in the second half as their need to maintain structure saw the Bianconeri score two goals from outside the box.
Even Paulo Dybala's goal was a clear case of poor defending as none of the four players in his way bothered to come near him. Cristiano Ronaldo took the ball unchallenged from deep to score a stunner, and no one thought to close him down during the run-up to the goal. No player was near enough to block Douglas Costa's shot as well.
For each goal, the defenders gave way too much space to Juventus' world-class attacking unit, and they paid for it with yet another loss this season.
#2 Juan Cuadrado is irreplaceable at right-back
Juan Cuadrado has made himself the go-to man for Maurizio Sarri's Juventus when it comes to the right flank. On Tuesday night, he caused major trouble for the Genoa backline with his accurate crosses and pinpoint passes. Consistently pacing past his marker on his flank, Cuadrado ran the game from the right wing.
Unsurprisingly, he made 129 touches on the ball, 28 more than any other player on the pitch. He rose to the task in defence, making tackles and interceptions while also winning aerial challenges. The 32-year-old's work rate was rather impressive, and he capped off his performance with an assist to his name.
#3 Mattia Perin conceded three goals but still played well
Through little fault of his, Mattia Perin conceded three goals in mere minutes as Juventus overpowered what had become an unstable Genoa backline. Through the first half, he had saved chances from Ronaldo, Dybala, Bonucci, Adrien Rabiot, and Federico Bernadeschi, and it seemed as though he would see the match out with his quick reflexes. However, it wasn't to be.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper only slightly parried Dybala's goal and let it get past him, even though it didn't seem like much of a hard shot. However, there was barely anything he could do to stop Ronaldo's powerful goal or Costa's - which looked like it went out right until the very end.
Despite the three-goal loss, Perin can certainly take some positives away from this game.
#4 Juventus' left flank was devoid of action
Save for Cristiano Ronaldo who started the game on the left - and constantly strayed into the central and right areas of the pitch - there was barely anything happening on the left flank. While Blaise Matuidi had to play there for Sarri before, Danilo was available and fit for this game but was barely found on the pitch.
Although he did put in a number of crosses, Danilo didn't carry the team forward on his flank, didn't cause any trouble for the opposing team and barely contributed defensively for his side. Notably, he had the least touches compared to other players in the Juventus back four.
#5 Bernardeschi keeps lacking in the Juventus front three
Federico Bernardeschi has endured a very poor season in front of goal, with this match showcasing how incapable he is of successfully linking up with the other forwards. Apart from the single shot he took that forced Perin into a save, he sent all his other chances clear off-target.
That much of the game took place on his flank didn't seem to matter much, as Bernardeschi failed to achieve anything of note. He had the fewest touches and passes compared to any other outfield starter in Juventus' squad against Genoa and had the worst passing accuracy as well.
It also doesn't help that he has contributed to just two goals in all competitions for the Old Lady this season.Published 01 Jul 2020, 08:26 IST