Juventus 0-0 Genoa: Below-par Juve continue stuttering Serie A ...

17 Mar 2024

Juventus were held to a goalless draw by mid-table Genoa on Sunday afternoon at the Allianz Stadium.

The result keeps them third in the Serie A table. The home side only had two shots on target and could not finish the few chances they created.

A late Dusan Vlahovic red card added to their problems, as the Serbian striker was given his marching orders following a foul and dissent in stoppage time. in the second half

Moments before the sending-off, Moise Kean had the best chance to win the game for the Bianconeri. His low shot from the edge of the area came back off the left post, as the Turin team pushed hard for a winner.

Genoa fashioned a few chances in the first half, with a Johan Vasquez flicked header testing Wojciech Szczesny out. But as the match wore on and Juventus won more possession, it became defined by their defensive resoluteness. Djed Spence and Vssquez shone, leading to precious-few chances for an out-of-sorts Federico Chiesa.

Aerially, the visitors kept Vlahovic’s chances down to a minimum, pressed hard in midfield and threw bodies in front of shots and crosses. The often-crowded penalty area meant there was little chance of cute one-twos; a tight back line meant no way through for slide-rule passes.

Max Allegri rung the changes on the hour mark, with substitute Samuel Iling-Junior playing particularly brightly and hitting the base of the post with a shot. Club captain Adrien Rabiot also came on, returning from a dislocated toe.

Genoa manager Alberto Gilardino will leave the happier man. The draw means that the Turin titans have only won one of their last eight games in the domestic league. They are making a habit of drawing with mid-table sides. Manager Allegri took them for a training retreat earlier this week in a bid to shake off the rust; more sessions and direct words may well be needed.

Now 16 points down on distant league leaders Inter Milan, Juventus’ next league game is away to Lazio in Rome.

Talking point - Vlahovic’s petulant sending-off worsens Juventus’ attacking headache

It is frustrating when you are drifting towards a goalless draw at home to Genoa and have not had the best match.

But Vlahovic’s naive red card was so utterly avoidable. Only back in the line-up after a one-game suspension, he had given away an unremarkable foul on the goalkeeper and could not stop himself from running his mouth off in front of the referee.

It was faintly reminiscent of his compatriot Aleksandar Mitrovic in his younger days, showing an occasional combustibility to go with the talent. Evidently, the 24-year-old still has a few things to learn.

Vlahovic will get a one-game ban which could be doubled, depending on the seriousness of what he said.

Allegri will definitely be speaking to the team. Their two shots on target were a clear sign of their lack of creativity. Juventus controlled possession in the second half, but Vlahovic was shut down all too often. Weston McKennie was unusually quiet. Chiesa was lightweight on the ball, creating little and giving it away too often.

It was an off game all right, but Juventus badly need their top scorer and talisman to get them out of their 2024 calendar-year rut. Instead, they will now be lacking even more cutting edge up top when it matters most.

Player of the match - Djed Spence (Genoa)

Pre-match, Juventus might well have targeted the right flank as a weak spot. Stefano Sabelli was out, serving a one-game ban, which meant a rare 90 minutes given to Tottenham Hotspur loanee Spence.

And my how he took his opportunity. The 23-year-old delivered a few stinging crosses in the game’s first quarter. Often pushed back, doing defensive dirty work later in the game, he handled Chiesa and Filip Kostic with aplomb, to the point that the Italian national was hauled off on the hour mark.

Spence’s performance typified the gritty Genoa approach, using strength and speed to win the ball, block shots and frustrate their opponents. He has done his chances of getting a run in the team a world of good.

Player ratings

JUVENTUS: Szczesny 6; Gatti 5, Bremer 6, Danilo 5; Cambiaso 4, McKennie 5, Locatelli 5, Miretti 6, Kostic 6; Chiesa 4, Vlahovic 5. Substitutes: Rabiot 5, Yildiz 6, Iling-Junior 6, Weah 5, Kean 6

GENOA: Martinez 7; De Winter 6, Bani 7, Vasquez 7; Spence 7, Frendrup 6, Badelj 6, Messias 5; Gudmundsson 5, Vitinha 6; Retegui 6. Substitutes: Strootman 5, Malinovskyi 6, Ankeye 6, Cittadini 6, Bohinen 5

Match highlights

7’ - Chance for Genoa! The away team’s best opportunity came early on, as a Mattia Bani header from a free kick 40 yards out was well parried to his left by Wojciech Szczesny. It was the only significant save he had to make.

66 - Chance for Juventus! Substitute Samuel Iling-Junior showed his creativity, cutting in from the left. His low shot bobbled over the hand of Josep Martinez in goal, skimmed the post and went out.

90’+1 - Chance for Juventus! Yildiz earned some space in midfield and played it through to Vlahovic, who tapped it back to the onrushing substitute Moises Kean. However, his low shot pinged off the left post and back out. Close, but no winning goal for the Bianconeri.

90’+2 - Vlahovic red card! From a whipped cross in, Dusan Vlahovic went up with Genoa goalie Josep Martinez and his arm grazed off the keeper. The foul earned a yellow card, but Vlahovic had angry words for the referee, who sent him off for dissent.

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