Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal was not enough, as Juventus were caught napping for Daniel Bessa’s equaliser and Ivan Juric’s Genoa end their perfect start.
The Bianconeri returned from the break for international duty seeking an 11th win out of 11, but Genoa made their ‘debut’ under new Coach Ivan Juric in his third stint at the club. He replaced Davide Ballardini, who in turn had stepped in for Juric back in November 2017, and moved to a 3-5-2 formation with 20-year-old Argentine Cristian Romero a surprise pick.
Leonardo Bonucci was given the captain’s armband for the first time since his return from Milan. The Curva Sud was shut as punishment for racist chants during the Napoli game, so Juve were given permission to fill it with kids from local youth academies.
Juve are unbeaten in this fixture since a 1-0 result in January 1991, decided by Tomas Skuhravy, followed by 15 wins and three draws between Serie A and the Coppa Italia. Genoa hadn’t even scored in their last six trips to Turin.
Cristiano Ronaldo was unlucky not to open the scoring after 13 minutes when his header on Juan Cuadrado’s cross thumped the upright, then his acrobatic attempt on the rebound went over.
Inevitably, it was CR7 who broke the deadlock. Joao Cancelo dribbled down the left and saw his shot deflected to the back post, where a lack of Genoa communication allowed Ronaldo to tap in from point-blank range.
It was nearly 2-0 on a rolled Cuadrado assist, but Ronaldo forced Ionut Radu into a low save at the near post, and the rest of the half was a Bianconeri monologue.
There was only a half-chance from Genoa, as Pedro Pereira dribbled past Alex Sandro only for Romulo to blast over.
Straight after the restart, Mario Mandzukic didn’t get clean contact to a powerful Alex Sandro low cross, but Krzysztof Piatek needed just a half-chance to create trouble, his snapshot from distance after a Medhi Benatia slip forcing fellow Polish international Wojciech Szczesny to palm it round the base of the near post. Piatek then turned a header just wide of the far post, as Genoa started to get back into the game.
It paid off after a curious incident, as everyone was waiting for the ball to go out for a Genoa corner, but it bounced on the line and took an odd swerve back inwards. Christian Kouame took advantage by whipping in the cross and found Daniel Bessa for a free header, as Bonucci was caught napping. It was the first goal Genoa had scored here since January 2013.
Juve were shaken out of their premature slumber and fought back, Ronaldo’s towering header off target, Pjanic and substitute Paulo Dybala drilling wide, then Mandzukic’s header testing Radu.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk