Juventus-Genoa wasn’t the biggest game on the European schedule on Sunday night. So if you had the desire to go and watch another match being played at the same time, Juventus made sure things were taken care of relatively early in Turin.
A somewhat slow start by the soon-to-be six-time defending Italian champions was a three-goal lead come halftime, as a Genoa own goal kicked things off and then brilliant goals from Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic paved the way to Juventus cruising to a 4-0 win in Turin on Sunday night.
It was a far cry from the first time the two clubs met this season at the Luigi Ferraris.
And something tells me we’re all okay with that.
I know I am.
Let’s be honest, too. It could have been a lot worse for Genoa. Gonzalo Higuain had chances. Claudio Marchisio sent a shot clanging off the post. So did Higuain and Kwadwo Asamoah. Once Genoa handed Juventus the lead with an owl goal and then Dybala quickly doubled the lead with another left-footed beauty, it was clear who was going to be bossing this match.
And it wasn’t the team that beat Juventus 3-1 earlier this season.
Max Allegri talked about the importance of this match for the simple fact of Juventus being on the doorstep of wrapping up yet another Serie A title. And, well, after Giovanni Simeone gave the Juventus defense a scare just a couple of minutes in, it became one-way traffic toward the Genoa goal. Juve were in control, and after the early-game scare Genoa rarely had the chance to venture forward and put forth any kind of danger to get on the scoreboard.
Once the ball started rolling — or deflection off a Genoa defender, if you want to look at it that way — Juventus couldn’t be stopped. Simple as that.
With Roma not playing until Monday, the lead at the top is now at 11 points. ELEVEN POINTS WITH FIVE GAMES TO PLAY. I’d say that’s a pretty good situation for Juventus to be in when it comes to clinching the Scudetto in the next couple of weeks. Probably because it is.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Juventus’ last 33 home games in Serie A: WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
That’s good, right?
- Claudio Marchisio wearing the captain’s armband tonight game me a lot of feelings.
- Neto got the Buffon treatment. He had almost nothing to do all game.
- That goal from Leonardo Bonucci...not bad at all.
- The defending and last-ditch tackles from Leonardo Bonucci...not bad at all.
- The commentators bringing up transfer rumors surrounding Leonardo Bonucci and Manchester City...very, very bad. Quite annoying, too.
- Who was reminded that former Juventus great Raffaele Palladino was a Genoa player when the starting lineups came out before the game? I’m pretty sure I was.
- All three of Allegri’s subs — Tomas Rincon, Stefano Sturaro and Rolando Mandragora — all played for Genoa within the last couple of seasons.
- Who was excited to see Mandragora get five minutes and officially make his Juventus debut over a year after signing with the club? With all the injury issues he’s had over the past 14 or 15 months, I’m sure this was a pretty big personal victory for him. Yes, even though it was five minutes worth of action.
- Speaking of Juventus teenagers getting playing time, this proved to be the kind of game where having Moise Kean on the bench would have been nice. I’m sure resting Higuain for a little bit of the second half wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.
- Sami Khedira...also guut. The guy has been awesome since the switch to the 4-2-3-1. And if you had to guess before the season that Khedira would be amongst the team leaders in minutes played this season based on his injury history, what would you have said? Because he is amongst the team leaders in minutes played, and it’s safe to say that I am pretty surprised about that. (Not that I’m complaining. Khedira has proven to be a crucial part to this team.)
- Here’s a stat that surprised the hell out of me: Dybala’s last 14 goals in all competitions have been scored at Juventus Stadium. You’d have to go back to the second day of October to when he scored in a city that’s not called Turin. (It was against Empoli, FWIW.)
- Who needs El Clasico when you can watch Juventus kicking Genoa’s ass, right?