A Not-so-Live Liveblog: Genoa 0-2 Juventus

So most games, I jot down some notes here and there on a little notebook, those being my "sober" games. If I drink, I write no notes. I merely enjoy. Today, I decided to do it on the computer. Here is my liveblog of the game. I caught the game on review, and this is obviously about 12 hours after the game finished, so if you missed it, here's your minute-by-minute run-down. If you caught it, you can read my (hopefully) somewhat entertaining, somewhat insightful notes. A real review will be up tomorrow.

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Prematch thoughts:

Motta is starting. Why? He’s been poor recently, and given that Krasic is returned, why not play Sorensen, who is far more defensive?

Luca Toni v. Giorgio Chiellini: Not worried at all. The only thing more washed up than Luca Toni is Hernan Crespo. [Post-game note: Who actually scored today, ha.]

Game on.

1'- I like the Marassi stadium, and I really like the camera angles here.

Krasic goes down in the 1st minute from Criscito, light contact but assistant referee didn’t like it. As Adam said, Milos will have to get shot to get a penalty in the future. Oh wait, he actually got the foul there.

2'- Marco Storari flattens Luca Toni with a brilliant sliding tackle in the box. LEGEND. Straight out of my FIFA.
4'- Genoa wins a free kick on the edge of the box, dangerously swung in, Storari punches it out, didn’t fully judge it right there.
5'- Gorgeous cross field delivery from Aquilani to Krasic who is being jeered by the crowd. He is a Serb after all.
6'- Some funny finger-waggling from Felipe Melo.
10'- Krasic delivers a lovely cross in, Eduardo has to punch. Felipe Melo breaks up the play, hands to Aquilani who passes to Krasic precisely. Lovely midfield today, the 4 of them are a tremendous group with a diverse skill set. Aquilani, the silky passer, Melo, the destructive enforcer, Marchisio, the hard-working all-rounder, and Milos, "the Serbian bolt" as Zuliani calls him. A bit better than Momo, the headless chicken, Pepe, the hard-working not-good-at-anything, and Tiago, well, because he's just a piece of shit.
12'- Iaquinta has a long-range pop, but it’s fairly wide. Worth an effort, at least. Krasic had a thigh strain, and given his pace and acceleration, I really hope he doesn’t push it too hard. That’s not an injury where you go from unhealthy to 100% instantly.
14'- Criscito comes in late with a two-footed slide tackle on Krasic, and deservedly gets a yellow card. That is real bad news for him, against a pacy player like Krasic, he is going to have to hold off on strong challenges. Kaladze has not been given much help to Criscito on the left.
17'- What a bizarre goal! Aquilani (I think) does well to win the ball in midfield, Marco floats in a lovely cross. Quagliarella does well to head back, Marchisio volleys, deflects off Dainelli and Eduardo comically heads it into his own net. Quagliarella back-header/Marchisio volley reminiscent of Trezeguet’s goal in “the” Real Madrid semi-final.

Genoa probably don’t deserve to go down, it’s been a pretty even sided first 15 mintues, but that’s calcio.

19'- Luca Toni has a poor volley. It used to be Amauri was the crap version of Luca Toni, but now Luca Toni is about as bad.
22'- GOALLLLLLLLLLLLL. Super goal from Krasic, who does a few stopovers, schools Criscito, and fires in. Again, Eduardo probably should have done better. Criscito completely unable to stop Milos, yellow card definitely conditioned him there.

Milos goes over to celebrate with Brazzo, it looks like. I think Salihamidzic translates for Milos, another reason to treat him well.

Two goals in 22 minutes. Not bad. Will this finish 9-0? [Subtle La Liga dig, I know.]

25'- Aquilani puts a lovely ball over the top to Marchisio, who controls well and shoots/crosses but Iaquinta isn’t there. Genoa started out well, but have suddenly looked very shaky. I guess two goals will do that.
27th- Oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh, Criscito volleys off of a corner, hits the crossbar, very impressive, and Luca Toni horribly shanked the follow-up. Pre-Euro2008 Toni buries that. (As long as not in Azzurro)

Woulda been candidate for goal of the week if that had gone in, no matter what happens in the other games, that was a real great volley. Genoa have woken up a little bit offensively.

So defense in shambles, offense looking alright. Normal service for Genoa has resumed.

31'- Genoa also has reverted to a 3-5-2 it looks like, although their midfield look real confused tactically on where they should be. Ballardini switched to a 4-3-3, but back.
32'- Luca Toni scores, with his hand. Motta heads it in for him, but it’s rightfully chalked off and Toni gets a yellow. Cue Luca praying to the referee, and Paul Scholes silently grinning.
33'- Kaladze now gets booked, furious with the referee for reasons I don’t understand. Looks like he’s saying Iaquinta was holding his shirt, but he was doing the same and knocked him over from behind.
35'- Aquilani, Marchisio, Melo, and Krasic are just passing lovely between each other. Genoa haven’t looked totally awful in attack, but we are controlling the midfield at this point, and away, too. Impressive.
36'- Lovely recovery from Marchisio there, just robbed Toni of it and passed to Aquilani.
37'- With Krasic on, we have such a strange formation, Marchisio tucks in centrally and Milos plays way up top, a real lopsided 4-3-3 in attack. But it works. As I say that, Krasic just rips through two defenders, lovely cross to Iaquinta who gets a good touch of it goalside of Ranocchia, but just wide, a “palla-gol” there as they say in Italian.
38'- First real sighting of Marco Rossi, one of the dirtiest players in calcio.

A 4-4-2 with Marchisio and Pepe is solid, but Milos really adds that extra spark to unlock the other teams defenses.

39'- Ooohh, real worrying moment there. Cross in, neither of our defenders get to it, and Marco Rossi lurking just misses a touch, Storari touches it around for a corner that Genoa take horribly.

Grosso the culpable one there, failed to clear, I suppose he didn’t realize Marco Rossi was hanging out right behind him. Or "lurking" instead of hanging out, first of all because it's appropriate for a scummy player like Marco Rossi, and it's just a great word in general.

41'- Apparently Chievo and Inter are the only other two teams to win this season at Genoa. Who are playing today, odd coincidence.
42'- Ranocchia’s been looking decent out there, but still not as commanding as he was at Bari. 3-man defense doesn’t suit him.

It doesn’t suit Rinaudo either, not that that’s really an issue at this point.

43'- As I say that, Ranocchia swoops through and robs Melo of a ball, continues moving forward as Luca Toni plays a decent backheel to him. Milanetto plays in a clever ball to Criscito, but Krasic is in the penalty box defending well. Strange.

44'- Genoa’s had some real poor touches up front that allow our defenders to recover.

As I say that, Quagliarella plays in a good ball to Iaquinta who’s touch lets Dainelli recover and start a counter. I'm predicting the future.

45'- Rafinha has been real poor offensively, which is supposed to be his M.O. Krasic runs down the right and wins a corner, after being double marked by Mesto and Criscito. Beast mode.

Dainelli heads the corner out of the box, Melo does very well in his defensive midfield role to collect outside of the box, pass back in.

Half over.

As I said in last week’s podcast, Genoa, despite the points, don’t seem any better under Ballardini than Gasperini, shame they haven’t even gotten a new manager bounce. They got two 1-0 wins under somewhat fortuitous circumstances, a Milanetto screamer and a late Ranocchia header. Offense hasn’t changed, and that’s what got Gasperini sacked. Their offense has looked positively unimpressive in the first half.

Our midfield has totally controlled the game, and it looks like 3 points are in the bag here.

Second half:

45'- Kharjah on for Ranocchia? What the hell? Genoa switches to a back 4, but you’d expect Ranocchia to be given that chance there, not old men Kaladze/Dainelli. Inter-owned Destro comes on for Mesto, as Ballardini likes rhyming. I like Mesto and think he’s a bit underrated, but he hasn’t done anything today.
48'- Bonucci goes off the pitch, stopped the game for treatment under no challenge or pressure. Not good, looks like his knee, though he doesn’t look in too much pain. Kaladze concedes a real awful corner.
49'- I said in the first half that Genoa looked tactically confused having switched to a 3-5-2 or something similar, and have reverted to a 4-3-3 in the second half. They still look really tactically confused, or maybe it’s just our midfield dominating theirs.
51'- Brilliant little backheel touch from Aquilani there. He then drives in a nice shot/cross, if Iaquinta got any touch on that, it’d have been a goal, but it was a fast shot and hard to reach.
52'- I have not noticed Quagliarella much in this game. Iaquinta however has been noticed, but hasn’t had a good enough touch to look dangerous, gets beaten by Dainelli.
54'- Melo makes a dangerous challenge in the box on Marco Rossi, just knocking him over without getting the ball. Woulda been real harsh to call that a penalty. Sorensen comes on for Motta, smart move. Motta was having another mediocre game out there, will solidify the back 4 a bit.

As I say that, Sorensen blocks a cross coming in. Atta boy.

55'- Sorensen blocks another cross, this one inside the box. Not a bad way to sub on. Correction- Bonucci blocked that one.
56'- Genoa having a bit of a spell of possession here, which is to be expected. Can’t have 100% possession.

Luca Toni gets the ball on the edge of the box, attempts a volley as either a shot or an assist, it’s neither.

57'- Genoa have had some possession recently, but like Roma, it doesn’t ever really look like Genoa are going to score, Bonucci-Chiellini have been a rock. They get another corner after Sorensen makes a smart header in the box.
59'- Case in point. Couple passes between Toni, Rossi, and Destro, but nothing comes up of it. No final ball.
60'- Kharjah makes a smart pass to Toni who’s onside, but does nothing. Krasic is subbing off for Momo.

Oh dear.

NASA just texted me an alert, a black hole has been detected in Genoa. Pesto fans in the world cry out. Seems Gigi Delneri is setting up shop and calling this a 2-0 win.

62'- Grosso with a poor challenge on Rafinha, deservedly booked. Free kick headed out by Chiellini who has been in beast mode all game, Rossi hits the rebound but well wide.
63'- Commentator is pointing out we’ve had a rather unfortunate habit of conceding after we go up. True. And that’s why the Momo sub annoys me, why not sub on Lanzafame, we’re defending with 30 minutes left?
63'- Iaquinta put on goal, probably fouled Kaladze there, but poor touch and smart goalkeeping by Eduardo prevent a goal. Quagliarella was unmarked waiting in the box.
64'- Rafinha booked for a poor tackle on Quagliarella. Criscito ran at Sorensen a minute ago and was completely blocked, this kid is not bad.

So I just realized we have the Milan midfield back, Marchisio-Aquilani-Melo-Momo. Functional, but square peg in round hole.

But yeah, I’m not a big fan of the Momo sub. He could win the ball and comically miss in the box, allowing Quagliarella to score, but ultimately it’s a real defensive sub with a LOT of the game left to play. Delneri has done real well to drill us tactically in that we can defend that lead, and I expect us to be able to withstand Genoa’s pressure (admittedly, they don’t look too sharp up top) but why go defensive if you can throw Lanzafame on, give him a few minutes, and look for goal #3? It’s not the “joga bonito score lots of goals” Nike marketing campaign I’m thinking about, it’s more that we’re just inviting pressure this way and I’m not a big fan.

66'- Cross comes in, Luca Toni was onside but can’t direct it on target, Sorensen did well to pressure him.

I’m wearing a Juventus jersey, not just because I do whenever we play, but also out of necessity. I need to go check my laundry.

68'- Sorensen tackles Criscito, smartly lets the ball go out for a goal kick. He’s looked way better than Motta in his brief time on, certainly one for the future. And by future, I mean now.

70'- Cross in, Marchisio volleys but Dainelli is there to block it. Aquilani collects it on the clearance, and Juve back in the drivers seat.

Not terribly impressed with Momo’s play thus far, but again….square peg, round hole.

As I say that, Momo has a real godawful first touch in a promising position, gives it to Genoa. On the counter Sorensen reads the ball perfectly and clears.

71'- On the counter, Aquilani plays a lovely throughball to Quagliarella, who attempts to cut in and have a shot, but plenty wide. Mediocre game from our two center forwards thus far.
72'- Kharjah plays in a nice ball to Rossi who just can’t reach it, he’s been real positive since he came on for Genoa, he might have that final ball that Genoa otherwise have been totally lacking thus far. The Genoa player was real good for Siena, and looks to be playing well at the Marassi.

As I say that, Kharjah has a volley, which is deflected and tipped over the bar by Storari.

75'- Momo’s had two decent tackles in the last minute or so, and then kind of fouls a player off the ball. Hasn’t been too great since coming on.

I just saw Sorensen venture into Genoa’s half. Mind you, I don’t care if he doesn’t, although Momo doesn’t offer the same kind of offensive capabilities that Krasic does.

76'- The King comes on for Quagliarella. Not a great game from Quags, not necessarily poor, but at 2-0 up, it’s not that important to criticize our front two.

Substitution delayed as Momo may have a muscle twinge.

77'- Genoa has a good opportunity as Luca Toni heads it down for Destro, who’s shot is deflected out for a corner by Chiellini. Giorgio and Bonucci have been mopping up back there.

Miguel Veloso and Rafinha were strongly linked to us a while ago. Anyone see anything in them today that makes you wish we had them? Not me.

78'- Sorensen blasts a lovely cross field ball to Marchisio. Kid can play.
80'- So Aquilani is coming off for Salihamidzic, when Quagliarella was due to come off for Del Piero. Strange, if they scrubbed the switch, I wonder if Alberto asked to come off. Either Momo/Marchisio will slide into the middle, and Salihamidzic will play at right-mid.

Genoa have had a lot more pressure since Momo came on, but still no real good final killer ball. This kind of reminds me of a game 3 years ago against Genoa, I believe it was also at the Marassi. Grygera had a screamer, and then a brilliant slalom-cum-assist for Trezeguet, and I think it all happened in the first 30 minutes. Game was put to bed in the first half, and this one looks similar. Considering they’re 2-0 down, Genoa have lacked any kind of urgency.

82'- Momo gives the ball away, but Toni’s no-look pass is crap. Can’t decide who is worse right now, Amauri or Toni. On the counter, Grosso plays in Marchisio who has a shot but well saved by Eduardo who at half-time must have decided it was time to play.
84'- Yikes, Kharjah has a cracking drive, it hits the crossbar, with Storari beaten. Unlucky for Genoa, there have been 4 times the ball has hit the post today- 2 were our goals, and Criscito/Kharjah had the other two. Like I said, Kharjah has been a tricky little fellow today. Also, is it just me or does he look Asian?

This might be my 2nd Genoa game this season I've watched, but perhaps Genoa’s poor attack is down to relying on an utterly-washed out Luca Toni? They try and play the attack with him as the focal point- like Italy at Euro2008, It’s not working so well.

85'- Ex-Juve primavera Omar Milanetto gets a yellow for clipping Felipe Melo on the counter. Melo has had a solid game. Milanetto has not.
86'- Sorensen puts in two solid tackles. Can be a Grygera-style RB, but also definitely a CB, he’s got impressive physical stature and strength that Criscito doesn't.
87'- Salihamidzic plays a good long ball to Iaquinta, headed out, and Momo puts in a great tackle to win it back for Juve.
88'- This game was put to bed in the 25th minute. Hasn’t been a drab game to watch, I like our midfield possession and passing, but well, hasn’t been one to keep me on the edge of my seat. Thank God I’m watching this on replay- where I am, this game was at 530am. Some might question my Juventinita, but if I got up then to watch it, I’d be a bit cranky, this liveblog might be profane than an Alberto Malesani press conference. (or a Gigi Buffon Genoa game)
90'- Luca Toni clips Melo, who rolls about 7-8times. I used to do that as a child down hills and such. Oh, Felipe Melo, the man-child.

5 minutes of added time, really? Seems a bit long.

90+1’- Destro makes a good run forward, and has a shot that Storari does very well to save. Had that gone in, my heart rate might have ticked up a notch, woulda been a tense finish. It won’t be, instead, which is perfectly acceptable for me. Kharjah had a very clever pass for Destro.
90+2'- Rudolf has a shot that Storari kinda fumbles. I still laugh a bit whenever the commentator says Rudolf. Jokes are too easy.
90+3'- Commentator says “Freddy Sorensen has looked very solid since coming on” as he heads out a cross. I concur. Well done Freddy.
90+4’- Rafinha fouls Grosso with a poor tackle, could have been a 2nd yellow but that’d just be cruel. Game is already over, we’re in stoppage time.

Game over.

Summary?

0-15: Milos Krasic.

LOLGOAL.

15-25: Milos Krasic.

25-90: Freddy Sorensen. Luca Toni sucks. Rudolf is awesome, but not for his ability. Iaquinta heavy touches. Quagliarella too far from goal. My laundry is done. Momo is no Tea Partier. Kharjah made this semi-interesting.

But hey, I’ll take a controlled albeit a bit boring performance, if it secures a 2-0 win away at a decent team. Should spark a few questions over Gasperini’s sacking, I don’t see an improvement at all since.

I’m off to go roll down a hill, discover my inner man-child. Cheers all.

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