Sunday March 16 2014
Gasperini: 'Painful defeat'

Gian Piero Gasperini found Genoa’s last-gasp defeat “incredibly painful” and felt they deserved to beat Juventus.

Emanuele Calaiò had a penalty saved and Andrea Pirlo curled a free kick in at the last minute for the 1-0 result at Marassi.

“Losing a game like this is incredibly painful. We played well for 90 minutes and we thought that we’d be able to win it and make history, so to lose is hard to swallow,” Gasperini told Sky Sport Italia.

“Considering the quality of our opponents, it was undoubtedly our best performance of the season. It’s a real shame, as we had the game in hand during the second half and had that penalty.

“I can only compliment my players. It’ll be tough to raise their spirits, but they must remember the performance.

“We worked hard, with determination, strong fitness levels and also quality, as it wasn’t just grit. We created some good scoring opportunities and then this Pirlo gem at the end threw away the game.

“I know it won’t remain in the history books, but it remains a memorable game for us and I hope also our fans.”

Gasperini put Francelino Matuzalem permanently on Pirlo in midfield and it did make Juve’s job more difficult.

“That was the way we prepared it and that tactic proved effective. Andrea Bertolacci would go forward a lot and the defenders did well against quality strikers. We accepted this challenge and had done so well for 89 minutes.

“As time went on we gained confidence and were getting stronger and stronger.”