It didn't take long to figure out that this game wasn't going to be like the one over the weekend where Juventus were basically scoring goals for fun. If there was ever a game where you could tell how things were going to be for a full 90-minute stretch after only 20 minutes, I'm pretty sure this was one of those nights.
The only thing that separated Juventus and Genoa on the scoreboard ended up being Sebastien Di Maio's 29th-minute own goal after he deflected in Juan Cuadrado's strike from inside the penalty area. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. In typical Juventus-Genoa fashion, nothing was really easy. Seeing as the final scores in five of their last six games against one another have all been 1-0 or 2-0, then I guess we shouldn't be surprised by any of this.
But with this 1-0 win on Wednesday night, Juventus and Max Allegri can do a little bragging about the latest piece of history they just achieved.
Just go ahead and insert your "Juventus win game No. 13 in a row in lucky fashion" here because we're all expecting it. Puns are aplenty sometimes. Just as fruitful right now as Simone Zaza getting some kind of card whenever he steps onto the field. (Yes, that tackle was stupid. Really, really stupid.)
Juventus didn't win in anything close to the same kind of fashion or style and flair that they did over the weekend against Chievo. I'm pretty sure it wasn't because of those black-into-white shorts they sported for the first time all season during Sunday's lunchtime kickoff, so we won't go down that road. That ruthlessness that was there in the final third at the Bentegodi wasn't present at Juventus Stadium. That's not necessarily a reason to be upset. There's only so many times in a season where Juventus will look that good from the opening whistle to the final one.
The good thing about Wednesday, though? Juventus won. And they kept pace with Napoli. That collision course two Saturdays from now seems like the real deal knowing who each team plays over the weekend (Juventus at Frosinone, Napoli home to Carpi).
So if Juventus makes it 14 straight wins and then 15 straight wins, the time atop the Serie A table will be more than just a couple of minutes or hours. Juve just has to keep winning — which is what they did against Genoa, so there.
Random thoughts and observations
- Patrice Evra was subbed off late in the first half and immediately went right down the tunnel to the locker room. If you ever wanted a bad sign about why a player came off the field, I think that would be it. Plus the whole thing about it being about two minutes before halftime, too.
- Martin Cáceres also went off injured, and it looked as though this one was much more serious than Evra's. Unfortunately for a player who has seemingly been injured for the last three years straight, it's just another one added to the list. If his reaction to being stretchered off was any indication of the severity of it, then I don't think we'll be seeing Cáceres and his high socks for a while.
- Suddenly the injury list is crowded again. Amazing how things can go from looking so good to looking incredibly frustrating again in just about seven or eight days.
- A much more pleasant observation: Simone Padoin played, Juventus won. Any questions?
- The biggest thing to come out of Zaza getting a red card on that absolutely stupid tackle? Now Allegri can't rotate his front line against Frosinone this weekend. I know there's nearly a week in between games, but giving Paulo Dybala nearly two weeks of rest entering a massively important game would have been fantastic. Instead, Dybala's next day off might just come once the season is over at this rate.
- On a night where there wasn't a Juventus player that really stood out, Claudio Marchisio had a quietly effective game against Genoa. He had a team-high four tackles. He was second to only Andrea Barzagli in terms of interceptions. He was third to Leonardo Bonucci and Barzagli in terms of clearances.
- This was not a very pretty game, so I don't know what else to say.
- And with that, I'm out.