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March 16, 2014
• 3:45 PM
• Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genova
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 23832
A. Pirlo 89'
That's all that we have time for, but we hope you have enjoyed Juventus' tight 1-0 away win over Genoa, which sends the Old Lady even further infront in the race for the Serie A title. I've been Simon Harrison, that game was settled by the undeniably brilliantly Andrea Pirlo, and I hope to see you again next time.
Somewhat harsh on Genoa, but Juventus had plenty of chances in the first half, with Dani Osvaldo unlucky to have his second disallowed goal chalked off for offside. A laboured win, in tough circumstances, but it's these results which just might give you the most satisfaction at the end of the title-winning season.
FULL TIME! Juventus move onto 75 points, as their grasp around the Scudetto tightens with an unlikely three points in Genoa. The hosts pushed them all of the way, forcing Pirlo to step up and take the plaudits with a delightful 20-yard free-kick late on. The Rossoblu missed a penalty, but Conte doesn't mind, as the coach celebrates ecstatically.
90' + 3'
POGBA! The young midfielder balloons a long range effort high and wide, as his finishing touch escapes him once again. It's been a good showing from the France international, he's shown in glimpses what he managed to do in 2013.
90' + 2'
Asamoah tries to drive through the middle of the Genoa defence, instead of laying off Quagliarella outside him, which ends in the Ghanaian being flattened, much to the annoyance of the Italian substitute. The league leaders look to be taking the spoils here.
It's often said that title-winning sides need to grind out results in tough circumstances, and that's certainly what the Old Lady are doing here tonight in Genoa. There are four minutes of stoppage time for the hosts to find an equaliser.
Goal Andrea Pirlo
GOOOOOOAL! IT HAD TO BE! Pirlo curls the free-kick into the top left hand corner, and Juve look to have stolen the three points at the death! It's a wonderful dead ball strike, and Perin had no chance. Predictable, but utterly brilliant.
Free-kick to Juventus right on the edge of the Genoa penalty area, as substitute Quagliarella is brought down. Genoa's players aren't happy, and rightly so, as this could be a great chance for Pirlo to curl in a late winner.
Both managers continue to bark out instructions from their respective technical areas, but there seems to be a growing inevitability that this game with end goalless. Antonelli is nearly gifted a goal from deep in the penalty box, but the left-sided player hesitates about taking a shot on with his right foot, allowing for Buffon to collect the loose ball.
Double change for Juve, who shuffle the pack in the late stages. Padoin and Isla come on for Vidal and Lichtsteiner, with the Chilean midfielder putting in a strangely lacklustre performance. This new energy could just permit Juve to find their next gear.
SCULLI! Half chance for Genoa! Another back post cross is floated in, but the Genoa man fails to get any telling contact on the ball, leaving Buffon free to pick up the pieces, quite literally. As this game edges towards the 90 minute mark, the underdogs are looking the more likely side to find a late goal.
Good cross by Sculli! The forward hangs in the air to cushion a square ball across the face of goal, but Chiellini is on hand to clear. No matter what Genoa have thrown at their adversaries this evening, either Chiellini or Buffon have had an answer.
Ten minutes to go, and Juve might just be missing Tevez too much. The Argentine's partnership with Llorente has been a highlight of the Old Lady's season, and without him the goals aren't flowing. Lichtsteiner and Asamoah aren't being permitted to break forward and attack, leaving the away side surprisingly narrow offensively.
Good defensive header from Pogba! The young midfielder rises well at the near post to nod away a Genoa corner, as Juve look to kick-start their second half and find the game's breakthrough goal. The home fans believe that their side are close to taking a vital point, which will take them two points clearly of struggling Milan in 12th place.
Conte is looking a little bit worried in his technical area, and rightly so, Buffon has been the busier keeper in the second half. Genoa are holding their own, and Quagliarella is stripping off on the bench as a result. Llorente and Osvaldo aren't linking up as well as the Spaniard can do with Tevez, forcing the Juve coach to look for a different catalyst.
Well, there's the wake up call for Juve as we head into the business end of this match! They've not done enough to put themselves ahead, and as I said earlier, they could succumb to defeat against a Genoa side who are inspired by picking points up against the likes of Inter and Napoli recently.
Penalty save Gianluigi Buffon
Missed Penalty Emanuele Calaiò
SAVED! BUFFON SAVES ON HIS 476TH APPEARANCE FOR JUVE! It was a poor penalty, in the sense that it wasn't fired near to the woodwork, but the veteran goalkeeper guessed the right way to deny substitute Calaio! That was a golden opportunity!
PENALTY TO GENOA! The hand was raised by Vidal, and the referee immediately points to the stop! The ball bounces up into the Chilean international's forearm, and the home side have a chance to take the lead from the spot!
Llorente does well to control a clever clipped ball from Pogba, before the Spaniard stands up De Maio. The Spaniard looks to curl a cross into the centre, but it appears to be blocked by the hand of the Genoa man. The referee says nothing doing, but that was a bit of a let off for Rossoblu.
Half a chance for Genoa now! Matuzalem floats the ball out to the left flank, before a dangerous cross is whipped in, but a Genoa shot is well blocked by Bonucci. The central defender goes down with a bit of a niggle, and with Fiorentina in mind, Conte may not want to risk his key man.
Half chance for Juve! Vidal tries to slide Pogba through on goal with an eye of the needle pass, but it's blocked well! Genoa look dangerous on the break, and the longer this game goes on, there's a genuine danger that Juventus could fall victim to a smash and grab defeat.
Well, it's somewhat surprising to see Gilardino withdrawn, given the experienced striker's invention and poaching instinct, but Gasperini must be looking to keep his forward line fresh. Calaio shoots with his first touch, but arrows the ball high into the crowd from more than 30 yards out.
We're getting to the point in tonight's game where both managers behind to take glances towards the personnel on their substitutes benches. Gasperini will be the first manager to make a change, and it's going to be Gilardino that is replaced by Calaio, the former Napoli man.
Yellow Card Paul Pogba
GILARDINO! The Genoa striker tries his luck from 25 yards out, but barely tests Buffon, who is able to collect the tame effort with ease. That was nearly a pea-roller, Juve's keeper won't mind facing efforts like that all game.
Good defending from Bertolacci! The Genoa man doesn't allow for Llorente to turn on the edge of the penalty area, forcing Juve back towards their own goal, before the visitors give possession away. Pogba tries to win the ball back, but commits a cynical foul, earning the Frenchman a yellow card.
Juventus are looking a little bit shellshocked, and the Rossoblu have definitely taken some heart from that Bertolacci chance. The home fans are making plenty of noise, and Motta manages to drive forward down the right, forcing a foul from Pogba. The free-kick delivery goes behind for a goal-kick.
Gasperini knows that you have to take your chances, after the winning mentality he bred into plenty of the Old Lady's youth players whilst he was involved with their academy. If you don't take your chances against the top sides, you're likely to be punished, and that was guilt-edged!
BERTOLACCI! Perin hoofs another long pass towards Gilardino, but the lone striker is again dominated by the physical presence of Chiellini. Bertolacci manages to unlock the away side's defence however, beating Chiellini with a wonderful piece of skill, but slams his eventual effort into Buffon! The rebound can't be turned home either, with Motta firing the ball wide of the far post!
The second half is yet to settle down, in what has been a rather frenetic clash. Genoa aren't prepared to be pegged back, but haven't got the ability to make the ball stick in attack, so it's end-to-end stuff constantly. Conte won't be pleased that Juve haven't been able to wrestle control of this match yet.
Despite Juve's increased pressure, the hosts are finding gaps in midfield, with Chiellini and Bonucci forced to make hasty clearances. The Old Lady's central defensive trio has only been tested when Caceres is singled out, with Asamoah putting in a real defensive shift to ensure that Chiellini can stay more central to win aerial battles.
Yellow Card Arturo Vidal
The second half has started with Juve trying to force the issue, with both Osvaldo and Llorente looking to press and put the away side on the front foot. The former Athletic Bilbao striker hasn't been readily involved in this game so far, with the likes of De Maio battling well aerially.
Crossed wires for Juve! Osvaldo drives into the space inbetween midfield and defence for Genoa, before spotting the onrushing Pogba. The Italian striker tries to slide in the Frenchman, but the former Man United midfielder held his run, pulling back, allowing Osvaldo's pass to roll harmlessly through to Perin.
We are back underway in the second half! Conte's men were unable to find a way to legally find the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes, but we've got plenty of time left for goals here in Genoa. Three points would be invaluable to either side, though Juve might have one eye on their Europa League clash with Fiorentina in this second half.
This game has had everything but goals, so be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes time for all of the second half action. Juventus may be fourteen points clear at the top of Serie A, but they certainly need to pick up all of the points they can get. Stick around and stay with us to hear of everything as it occurs.
Juventus may feel hard done by, given that Osvaldo has managed to beat Perin on two occasions, but the first of the goals that was chalked was certainly offside. Genoa have managed to pick up a few bookings while trying to impose themselves on this game, and as a result, Gasperini could be forced into some cautious substitutions in the second half.
After a bright start, Juventus have crept into control of this game, with the midfield battle proving vital. As the likes of Vidal and Pogba have been able to press forward, the away side have managed to orchestrate more chances, while Buffon remains relatively untroubled in between the Old Lady's posts.
HALF TIME! The two sides go in goalless, despite us seeing the ball head into the back of the net on two occasions! Osvaldo has seen two chips disallowed for offside, while Gasperini's men will be wondering if they should have had a penalty for a shove on Bertolacci by Lichtsteiner.
Gilardino clips an excellent cross to the back post, but Juve are able to clear their lines once again for another Genoa corner. It's whipped into the back post, but Bertolacci can only blast the ball over the crossbar from eight yards out.
Buffon beats away the set piece delivery, as the veteran goalkeeper once again commands his area well. Genoa have moved the ball well in midfield, but the moment it moves into Juve's defensive third, the Old Lady have taken no prisoners. Bonucci and Chiellini have been particularly solid.
Matuzalem feeds Gilardino down the right flank, and the lone striker does well to play the ball off Bonucci to win a corner for the hosts. They've started to lose the midfield battle, and therefore sank onto the back foot, but this set piece could prove vital.
POGBA! The young Frenchman thuds a speculative effort into the advertising hoardings, with Perin scrambling across to his left hand side. Gasperini remains animated in his technical area, and his side are hanging on in there, despite two disallowed goals for the Old Lady.
GOOOOOOOAL! IT'S BEEN RULED OUT AGAIN! Well, that's unbelievable, and it looks like the wrong decision! Pogba released January signing Osvaldo with a smart backheel, and the Italy international clips the ball over Perin yet again, almost a perfect replica of his first disallowed chip. He wheels away in celebration, but the linesman's flag is aloft for offside once again!
BERTOLACCI! The home side want a penalty! He goes tumbling to the ground, supposedly under pressure from Lichtsteiner, and it looked as though the Swiss wing-back made enough contact with the midfielder to warrant a spot-kick! As a result, Bertolacci's header from eight yards out whistles over Buffon's crossbar!
OSVALDO! Well, he would have had to get that absolutely perfect! Chiellini clips a ball over the Genoa defence, which Osvaldo allows to drop over his shoulder, looking to drive a volley towards goal with his left foot. He makes contact, but the execution is poor, and the ball arrows out of play horribly. Not one for the replays!
Paul Pogba looks a little low on ideas in this game, the young Frenchman has suffered something of a dip in form since the turn of the year. The former Manchester United youngster tries to swing a cross towards the back post, but Burdisso beats Llorente in the air.
Great header from Chiellini! Bertolacci drives down the left hand side, before whipping in a cross in search of Matuzalem at the back post, but the Italy international drives across powerfully to clear the delivery with his forehead. It rockets out of play, Chiellini wasn't taking any chances there!
But for Osvaldo's disallowed goal, Juventus haven't carved out too many chances, but Buffon remains completely untested in the Juve net. This has been a first half dominated by a midfield battle, and despite the void in quality, Genoa have managed to hold their own thus far.
Genoa do continue to move the ball well in midfield, but their forays forward are unceremoniously stopped by the Juventus defence with regularity. The home fans are growing a little restless, as they think their players have been hard done to in terms of bookings, but the referee's hand has been forced by some poor challenges.
Well claimed by Buffon! The veteran goalkeeper makes the catch to deny Antonelli's cross, and Juve have been strong in the air so far. Either Buffon, Bonucci or Chiellini have been on hand to defuse any kind of dangerous situation when the ball has been in flight.
Yellow Card Alberto Gilardino
Gilardino catches Chiellini in the face with a stray elbow, which earns the home side their third yellow card of the opening half an hour, much to the displeasure of the home supporters. They've been rightfully given, due to some rash challenges, and Gasperini may be wondering about making some early substitutions in the second half to prevent his men from losing one in their ranks.
BERTOLACCI! The midfielder drives at Juve once again, and a pocket of space opens up on the edge of the penalty area, inviting the Genoa man to shoot. He obliges, but can't keep it down, ballooning the ball miles over the bar.
Yellow Card Giuseppe Sculli
Juventus go close via a corner delivery, as the Old Lady begin to turn the screw. Sturaro does well to head the ball behind for yet another corner, with the resulting set piece ending up in nothing for Juve once again.
After their early bright start, Genoa are starting to struggle a little bit, looking for long balls quite often, despite Gilardino's lack of pace. Bonucci is winning plenty of the aerial duels, and the game is beginning to slide into Juve's favour.
Yellow Card Stefano Sturaro
Just as a sidenote in terms of team selection, Giorgio Chiellini has been the man to replace Barzagli, as opposed to earlier information before kick-off that Ogbonna would be the man to replace his injured teammate. It's working well so far, given Chiellini's preference to bomb on down the left flank, but has provided Genoa with a weak point to attack, given Caceres' exposure on the right.
GOOOOAL! No, it's been ruled out! OFFSIDE! Osvaldo receives the ball in the penalty area, after a De Maio clearance rebounds off Llorente, allowing for the former Roma man to clip the ball delicately over Perin and into the net. The linesman has his flag up, and Osvaldo can't believe it!
Poor challenge from Gilardino! The veteran striker is late on Vidal, who contorts in pain on the floor, as the hosts' striker lunges in with his studs showing. The away side will have the opportunity to press forward now.
As we approach the twenty minute mark, Juve certainly haven't had the opening of this game their own way. Gilardino has figured much for the home side, but the Rossoblu are currently winning the midfield battle, despite Juve's obviously quality players. Should the home side step off and relent with their pressing, Conte's side will grow into this game much quicker.
Bertolacci and Antonelli continue to be heavily involved in the early stages, driving down the left hand side to great effect. With Caceres in place of Barzagli on the right hand side of Juve's defence, there is scope for the hosts to hurt the league leaders, which Gasperini may have picked up on.
Genoa continue to look bright, despite Juventus managing to throw a few good crosses into the box in search of the physically imposing Llorente. Osvaldo drives to the edge of the box, but the former Southampton striker fails to stab a clever ball through the hosts' lines to find the run of Llorente.
Perin does just enough! The Genoa goalkeeper is quick off his line to palm Pirlo's free-kick delivery out of danger, before the second ball into the box catches several Juventus players offside. Good discipline from the home side to push out as a line.
Yellow Card Sebastian De Maio
Lichtsteiner races down the right hand side, before De Maio looks to chop down the Swiss wing-back while he is in full flight. He clatters through the Juventus man, and earns himself the game's first yellow card, permitting the away side to whip in a delivery from the right flank as well.
Bertolacci is again involved, but this time overcooks a cross, which Buffon claims with ease. Gilardino isn't happy with the delivery, but Genoa continue to look bright in the opening ten minutes. Juve have only been able to get forward sparingly, with the hosts' midfield pressing effectively.
BERTOLACCI! The midfielder smashes an effort towards goal from 30 yards, but Bonucci manages to make a block, slowing the ball and allowing for Buffon to claim it. Llorente and Osvaldo are yet to see much of the ball, as the Old Lady start this match on the back foot.
Scrappy stuff from Juve, as Vidal gives the ball away needlessly in midfield, but Genoa can't do any better, as De Maio hoofs an attempted pass to Motta out of play. This game is yet to settle down, but the hosts won't be too disappointed with their start, they've tried to drive at the reigning Serie A champions.
Pogba looks for Osvaldo with an incisive through ball, but it has slightly too much weight on it, allowing for Marchese to shepherd the ball behind for a Genoa goal-kick. Neither goalkeeper has been tested yet, but a few clearances have had to be made by both sides.
SCULLI! An ambitious effort from the Genoa forward, as he looks to strike a loose ball first-time from 30 yards out. The hosts had an early free-kick, which was half-cleared, but Sculli could only balloon his first strike of the game well over the crossbar.
It's a good atmosphere here tonight, with the home side turning their stadium into something of a fortress of late. In the first few minutes, a thin smoke hangs in the air, courtesy of pyrotechnics from the stands. A bright start to this game, with both outfits keen to attack from the off.
Good defensive header from Marchese! The left-sided defender steams in at the back post to prevent a cut-back from reaching Osvaldo, as Juve push forward in the early stages. Genoa then take their turn to break forward, but Bonucci is on hand to make his first headed clearance of the game.
We are underway in the first half at Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, and we should be in for an interesting encounter, given Genoa's recent exploits as frustration to some of Serie A's top sides. Juventus need a win here first and foremost, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Conte trying to rest his key players in the second half is possible, ahead of Thursday's clash with Fiorentina.
Hang on, we've had an injury to Andrea Barzagli in the warm up! Both Giorgio Chiellini and Angelo Ogbonna once again take to the field to go through the pre-match motions. It appears that the Italy international has picked up a calf injury, which isn't good news for the visitors. He joins Peluso in pulling out of those possibly involved in today's game, as the wing-back remained in Turin earlier, due to illness. It's likely that the former Torino defender will step in, in Barzagli's absence.
Genoa have managed to trip up the likes of Inter and Napoli recently, meaning that Conte certainly won't be taking this game lightly. As shown by his strong team selection ahead of an important game on Thursday, the Old Lady are determined to maintain their impressive points lead at the top of Serie A, especially with second-placed Roma having a game in hand. Following Inter's win against Hellas Verona yesterday, Genoa themselves could look to go two points behind the eighth-placed newly promoted side with an unlikely triumph this evening.
Juventus substitutes: Chiellini, Ogbonna, Padoin, Quagliarella, Storari, Isla, Rubinho.
Juventus starting line-up: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah; Llorente, Osvaldo.
Genoa subsitutes: Calaio, Fetfatzidis, De Ceglie, Bizzarri, Konate, Cabral, Portanova, Albertoni.
Genoa starting line-up: Perin; Burdisso, De Maio, Marchese; Motta, Sturaro, Matuzalem, Bertolacci; Antonelli, Gilardino, Sculli.
TEAM NEWS: Isaac Cofie misses out through suspension for the hosts, while Alessandro Gamberini, Luca Antonini, Sime Vrsaljko and Juraj Kucka are also unavailable. Perin is in between the posts for the Rossoblu, and will be hoping to show his shot-stopping prowess, while Alberto Gilardino leads the line. Juventus loanee Paolo de Ceglie can only make the bench for the home side.
TEAM NEWS: Carlos Tevez is sidelined for the away side, meaning that Dani Osvaldo lines up alongside Fernando Llorente once again, with Claudio Marchision, Sebastian Giovinco, Mirko Vucinic and Simone Pepe also missing out. Giorgio Chiellini is given a rest, with Martin Caceres coming into the back three, while Juve remain with generally their strongest line-up. The likes of Chiellini, Isla and Ogbonna are on the bench.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action, as the Old Lady rotate their squad in light of their Europa League clash with Fiorentina next week. Following a 1-1 draw at home against Viola, today's visitors clearly have European competition in mind, but are unable to switch it around too much due to a some inconvienient injuries. Gian Piero Gasperini will be hoping that his Genoa side don't suffer too much at the hands of his former charges, given that the current Rossoblu coach has previously spent time with Juve's youth academy.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of one of Serie A's late kick-off, as Juventus travel to Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris to face mid-table Genoa, with the Old Lady looking to keep their sizeable gap at the top of the league in good shape. Unbeaten in their last five games, the form book suggests that Conte's men should be victorious here tonight, but Genoa have only lost one match in the same period - Juve have their work cut out on the road tonight.
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