Juventus’ relentless start to the season has been halted by Genoa, who earned a point on their visit to Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening. Despite appearing set for a comfortable win, especially after a dominant first half, the Bianconeri failed to press home their advantage and were punished for their lack of ruthlessness. With the home defence having done well to marshal the in-form Krzysztof Piatek, it was Daniel Bessa who struck after the interval to cancel out Ronaldo’s first-half strike, ending Juventus’ winning run.
Ronaldo strike cancelled out as Juve draw 1-1 with Genoa
The home side took control of the match in the early stages, in almost routine fashion, playing football that was both pleasing on the eye and effective. Cristiano Ronaldo was in the thick of the action, going close with only a few minutes played, controlling Miralem Pjanic’s ball perfectly but failing to find the target. The Portuguese forward then hit the woodwork just before the 15-minute mark, heading Juan Cuadrado’s cross from the byline onto the frame of the goal, before putting the rebound over. Ronaldo would not be denied however, as a fortunate deflection following Joao Cancelo’s shot brought the ball into the frontman’s path, and he made no mistake from close range.
ALL JUVE IN THE FIRST PERIOD
There was no sign that Ronaldo would let up, with the forward forcing Andrei Radu into multiple saves before the end of the first period. Buoyed also by the tireless running of Cancelo down the right flank, Juventus dominated in every area of the pitch, making ideas of a Genoa comeback appear fanciful.
GENOA BATTLE BACK
However, come back into the game is exactly what the away side did. Piatek gave an initial warning to the Juve defence, forcing Wojciech Szczesny to deny a fierce strike from outside the box. It was a sign of things to come as Genoa capitalised on hesitancy from the Bianconeri rear-guard. Christian Kouamé collected the loose ball on the right and, with plenty of time to cross, gave Bessa the easiest of headed finishes to make the score 1-1.
SUBS UNABLE TO FORCE A WINNER
The equalising goal served as wake-up call for the Bianconeri, who forced the issue and had their chances to score a winner. Ronaldo rose well in the area to meet Alex Sandro’s cross from the left but put his header just wide. Meanwhile Paulo Dybala, who came on in place of Blaise Matuidi, dragged a left-foot shot wide from a good position just inside the area. Juventus failed to sparkle in the final stages, even with Massimiliano Allegri able to turn to the likes of Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi, and the home side were unable to get the goal that would have marked a ninth straight league win.
JUVENTUS 1-1 GENOA (HT 1-0)
SCORERS: Ronaldo 19, Bessa 67.
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Benatia, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi (Dybala 71); Cuadrado (Douglas Costa 59), Ronaldo, Mandzukic (Bernardeschi 81).
Subs not used: Pinsoglio, Perin, De Sciglio, Barzagli, Rugani, Chiellini, Emre Can, Kean.
Radu; Biraschi, Romero, Criscito; Pereira (Gunter 79), Romulo, Sandro, Bessa (Hiljemark 82), Lazovic; Kouamé (Pandev 85), Piatek.
Subs not used: Marchetti,Lisandro Lopez, Lapadula, Mazzitelli, Rolon, Lakicevic, Omeonga, Medeiros, Zukanovic.
REFEREE: La Penna.
ASSISTANTS: Marrazzo, Bottegoni.
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Ros.
VAR: Calvarese, Tolfo.
YELLOW CARDS: Romero 9, Benatia 30, Criscito 71, Pandev 89.