Genoa scared Juventus in the first half with Ciro Immobile, but the substitutes Kwadwo Asamoah and Mirko Vucinic turned the game around.
The Bianconeri hoped to maintain their 100 per cent record while rotating the squad ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League opener with Chelsea. Simone Pepe and Simone Padoin were sidelined, but Lucio, Mauricio Isla and Nicklas Bendtner were in the squad for the first time this season.
Genoa have been entertaining so far this term, beating Cagliari 2-0 and losing 3-2 in Catania. Juan Manuel Vargas has been ruled out for three weeks after suffering a thigh strain on international duty, but Marco Borriello and Ciro Immobile were eager to face their former teammates. 19-year-old defender Mario Sampirisi got a rare start.
Antonio Conte was in the stands due to his 10-month ban, again replaced by Massimo Carrera on the touchline, but Genoa President Enrico Preziosi is barred from entering any stadium for six months due to the match-fixing scandal of 2005, so he placed a cardboard cut-out of himself in his seat!
Borriello went so close to an opener after three minutes, but his angled drive scraped a coat of paint off the base of the far post. Gigi Buffon (a noted Genoa supporter) beat away Jankovic’s free kick with great difficulty.
Juve were nervous and left themselves wide open to an Immobile counter-attack, but the Under-21 international still owned by the Bianconeri prodded wide when one-on-one with Buffon.
Immobile made up for that error by giving Genoa the lead soon after, albeit in scuffed fashion. The youngster didn’t get a clean touch, but it proved enough to slide the finish through a sea of legs to beat Buffon at the near post.
Borriello broke away from Andrea Pirlo to set up Jankovic’s angled drive across the face of goal. Leonardo Bonucci was booked for a handling offence in the wall, but protested as it appeared to be Pirlo’s arm instead. Pirlo admitted to the incident and the referee changed his mind.
Juventus were under immense pressure and Borriello was about to score against his former teammates by shrugging off Giorgio Chiellini when Bonucci’s sliding tackle was a decisive block from eight yards.
Matri wasted a golden opportunity moments later! He sprung the offside trap and was clear on goal, but incredibly ballooned over the bar!
Sebastien Frey plucked an Emanuele Giaccherini half-volley out of the air, but Genoa were furious when Bonucci was only booked for tripping Juraj Kucka on the counter on the edge of the box, though he was not last man. From that free kick, Buffon parried from Cesare Bovo.
Genoa should’ve been 2-0 up after the break, but youngster Sampirisi nodded wide from a couple of yards as the free kick found him at the back post.
Just 30 seconds later it was Juventus who wasted a great chance, as Giovinco’s angled drive was fingertipped on to the base of the far stick and Giaccherini failed to get the follow-up in from seven yards!
Massimo Carrera introduced Kwadwo Asamoah and Mirko Vucinic, then Giaccherini’s half-volley was inches past the post.
Borriello nodded a Jankovic set play on to the crossbar just shy of the hour mark, then moments later Buffon parried with an outstretched foot from Andrea Bertolacci.
They proved crucial incidents, as Juventus went straight up the other end to score with a fierce Giaccherini strike from the edge of the box!
Vucinic and Kucka had a scuffle when waiting for a free kick, but Juve turned the game around completely with their substitutes.
Asamoah won the penalty from 19-year-old Sampirisi and Vucinic converted it past Frey despite the goalkeeper guessing the right angle.
Having earned the spot-kick by drawing a foul, ex-Udinese midfielder Asamoah got a goal for himself. Vucinic’s cross from the by-line took a deflection along the way and the Ghanaian was ready to tap in at the back post.
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