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26 Jan 2013

Honours even against Genoa

The Bianconeri forced to settle for a draw after Genoa frontman Borriello comes off the bench to cancel out Quagliarella’s opener at Juventus Stadium

The Bianconeri were forced to settle for a point despite producing a dominant performance in this evening’s 1-1 draw with Genoa at Juventus Stadium.

Antonio Conte’s men deservedly took the lead in the 64th minute when Fabio Quagliarella found himself perfectly placed to turn Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross home following good work from Mirko Vucinic. 

But the visitors drew level after Marco Borriello came off the bench to haunt his former employers with a headed equaliser midway through the second period.

In a relatively sedate first half, Genoa were presented with some early half-chances. In fact, Buffon was called into action after just four minutes when an under pressure Immobile steered a header towards the top corner.

The first clear cut chances for Juve came in very quick succession. Bonucci floated in a threatening long ball over the defence from the centre circle to the unmarked Vidal. The Chilean midfielder elected to control the pass which gave a Rossoblu shirt time to catch up and turn the ball behind for a corner. The set piece presented another opportunity, which fell to Caceres, whose powerful right-footed effort whistled narrowly over the bar from close range.

After 22 minutes, Pogba found himself with space in the midfield. With the crowd calling for a long range shot, the midfielder instead elected to dink a pass into the path of Marchisio who connected with it fractionally outside the six-yard-box but saw his effort pass wide of the mark.

The Bianconeri earned a free kick just minutes later, in prime position for a right footer. In the absence of Pirlo and Giovinco, Vidal stepped up to take and let loose a dipping shot which passed just over the top corner.

Just before the interval, a cross was whipped in from the right flank towards Quagliarella. The Italian international shrugged off pressure from the central defenders and stretched out a hopeful right leg, only to see his effort roll just wide of the target.

The home side began to really assert themselves in a lively start to the second period and broke the deadlock with 54 miniuteson the clock. The combination of fantastic vision from Vucinic and a perfectly timed run and pass from Lichsteiner laid the chance on a plate for Quagliarella. With the aid of a deflection, the frontman turned it in to celebrate his return to the starting XI.

New Genoa manager Ballardini attempted to shake things up after the goal and used his three permitted changes by the 65th minute. The substitutions paid dividends as Borriello nodded home a threatening delivery from Kucka, just ten minutes after coming on.

The final 15 minutes were certainly not without incident as the Bianconeri swarmed forward in numbers in search of an equaliser. Lichtsteiner had his low shot well saved in a good spell of pressure from the Bianconeri. Shortly after, Giovinco nearly emulated his effort against AC Milan from a set piece as the ball struck the upright with the keeper well beaten.

With Genoa entrenched deep in their own half, Conte threw caution to the wind in pursuit of a winner. Ten minutes from time, he elected to hand Primavera youngster Beltrame a first-team debut. The newest member of the three-pronged attack unleashed a well-struck effort towards goal but the diving Frey was on hand to beat the ball out of harm’s way.

Even after 90 minutes, the action was not over and Genoa’s keeper was called into action on another two occasions in stoppage time as he saved late attempts from Bonucci and Giaccherini.

The game ended in controversy as Juventus were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty after Granqvist handled in the box. Despite vociferous protests from players and fans, the appeals fell on deaf ears, leaving the Bianconeri with a share of the spoils on a disappointing night in Turin.


GOALS: Quagliarella 64, Borriello 68

Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pogba, Marchisio (Beltrame 83), De Ceglie (Giaccherini 73); Vucinic, Quagliarella (Giovinco 69).
Substitutes not used: Storari, Rubinho, Peluso, Isla, Marrone, Padoin, Beltrame.
Manager: Conte.

Frey; Granqvist, Manfredini (Rossi 66), Moretti; Pisano, Kucka, Matuzalem, Olivera (Bertolacci 59), Antonelli; Immobile (Borriello 59), Floro Flores.
Substitutes not used: Tzorvas, Donnarumma, Jorquera, Sampirisi, Nadarevic, Tozser, Said.
Manager: Ballardini.


ASSISTANTS: Galloni, Passeri