SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 28 - 17 Mar 2019 (11.30 UK)
Genoa 2 - 0 Juventus
Sturaro 72 (G), Pandev 81 (G)
Stadio Luigi Ferraris

Juventus have lost their Serie A unbeaten record with a shock 2-0 defeat to Genoa, with late goals from Goran Pandev and their former player Stefano Sturaro.

They hadn't lost in the top flight since the home defeat to Napoli on April 22.

The Bianconeri were fresh from an epic Champions League comeback to eliminate Atletico Madrid, but hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo was rested with Giorgio Chiellini and Blaise Matuidi, while Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa, Andrea Barzagli, Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio were injured. The Grifone were one of only three Serie A teams to have taken points off Juve this season, with a 1-1 Turin draw in October.

This was the first return to Marassi for ex-Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin and he was immediately called into action with an excellent save to deny Tonny Sanabria one-on-one after Daniele Rugani had done enough to stall Christian Kouame.

Perin had to parry again from Kouame on a corner, but the move continued and the referee awarded a penalty for Joao Cancelo’s handball. However, after viewing it again on VAR, he revoked the decision because Kouame had handled it first, knocking the ball on to the Juve player’s hand.

Genoa continued to threaten and Esteban Rolon scuffed his finish over from just inside the penalty area when undisturbed.

Juve thought they had taken the lead when Cancelo pulled back from the by-line for unmarked Dybala, whose side-foot finish from just inside the area took a deflection off Domenico Criscito to wrong-foot Ionut Radu. However, VAR intervened again, this time because there was a very tight offside call in the build-up.

Goran Pandev came off the bench and aimed straight at Perin from a promising position, but the breakthrough came from the man absolutely nobody expected.

Stefano Sturaro, who was sold to Genoa in January after practically a year out injured and who was criticised by many as overpaid and a financial loophole for Juventus, came off the bench for his Grifone debut and scored two minutes later. It was a well-taken right-foot curler from the edge of the box, but bounced right in front of Perin and into the far bottom corner.

Juve were rocked and Kouame wasted a great opportunity by firing over, but created the goal moments later when he cut inside and sent Pandev clear with a smart reverse pass, allowing the Macedonian to drill into the far bottom corner with his trusty left boot. The celebrations at Marassi were so wild that they cracked the glass dividing the crowd from the pitch.

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Genoa: Radu; Pereira, Romero, Zukanovic, Criscito; Lazovic (Sturaro 70), Radovanovic (Veloso 75), Rolon, Lerager; Sanabria (Pandev 59), Kouame
Juventus: Perin; Caceres, Bonucci, Rugani; Cancelo (Bernardeschi 59), Emre Can, Pjanic, Bentancur (Spinazzola 77), Alex Sandro; Mandzukic (Kean 73), Dybala
Ref: Di Bello