If you were expecting Juventus to come out Sunday afternoon with the same swagger and verve in attack that they put forward against Atlético Madrid, it didn’t take long to see that wasn’t going to be the case with Genoa as the opposition.
For all of the pressure, the dangerous runs being made forward an all-around ferociousness that Juve’s lineup put forward five days earlier, it was far from a replication of the club’s best performance of the season when they stepped onto the field at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Far, far from it.
Juventus 31-game unbeaten run in league play is now a thing of the past. Some might have thought it would come to an end earlier in the season based on how uninspiring some of their performances were, but it lasted nearly an entire calendar year. And, leave it to a man by the name of Stefano Sturaro, in his first appearance back with Genoa, to score the game-winning goal in Juve’s 2-0 loss on a forgettable Sunday lunchtime kickoff at the Marassi.
Yes, that Sturaro ... scoring the game-winner ... all of a minute after coming on as a substitute.
So much for Juventus’ Serie A lead hitting 20-something points this weekend. I guess we’ll have to wait until the month of April for that to potentially happen.
Here’s the positive: Juventus played like this against Genoa and not Atlético Madrid. Can you imagine if Juve did play like this against Atleti? I don’t know if BWRAO would be alive a couple of days later. We might have seen the servers burnt down to the ground and then stomped on for a couple of hours just for added measure.
Juve were never going to replicate the heroics of Tuesday night during their trip to Genoa. And, based on what they showed on Sunday, they pretty much used up every good bit of football for the week — outside of Paulo Dybala’s goal that was ruled not a goal thanks to VAR — during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid.
Hey, I think every one of us will take that win rather than the alternative. And if the result of such an emotional high and wonderful result was what happened against Genoa, then so be it. Max Allegri seems to be thinking along those lines after the game.
You could be mad about this result. Or, you could realize that Juve’s still so far ahead of the competition in Serie A that this result will probably just be a blip on the radar and that’s about it. We won’t be able to say that Juve are undefeated in league play anymore. That’s fine. It’s not like that was a huge talking point anyway based on what the club is trying to achieve this season.
One-loss Juventus is pretty much the same as no-loss Juventus.
I won’t be losing any sleep over it.
Well, unless you count the sleep I just lost because I actually chose to watch Juventus play like crap once again against a Genoa-based club at the Luigi Ferraris.
RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
- Just wanna state this for the record: That’s not the kind of game that is easy to stay awake for when the game begins at 4:30 in the morning where you live.
- Also, stating for the record, I still don’t recognize the all-business look from Perin. I am conditioned to my Perins looking like rockstars with scraggly beards and very little hair gel. This new Perin is not the Perin that I know.
- Maybe if Perin had his classic hairstyle he could have done better on Sturaro’s goal because that really is a shot that should have been saved. (Especially when you think about the kind of save Perin made in the first half to keep the game scoreless.)
- Cristian Romero Watch 2019: After a shaky start that involved getting a yellow card within the first five minutes, you can pretty much say that it went quite well for the 20-year-old defender who is of much interest to Juventus. If you’re trying to impress a club that’s interested in you, that’s the kind of game you have when you’re playing against them.
- Name a Juventus player that actually played well against Genoa. I’ll wait.
- More like Rodrigo Meh-tancur, amirite? (I still like you, Rodri, don’t worry.)
- Daniele Rugani, not great!
- Leonardo Bonucci, not great!
- Alex Sandro, not great!
- Pretty much every Juventus player against Genoa, not great!
- Just a suggestion for when Moise Kean comes on the field as a sub: It’s probably a good idea to get him the ball so that he can actually try and create something. Instead, in 20 minutes off the bench, Kean touched the ball four times. FOUR. That’s it.
- Then again, Mario Mandzukic — who has now gone nearly three months without a goal — only touched the ball 22 times in 72 minutes. And about a quarter of those touches came within about a minute in the second half. So, again, not great!
- I barely had enough time to fire off Sturaro jokes before he scored. Come on, man, let a guy stick to his brand before completely blowing things up.
- It was always going to be Sturaro scoring the game-winning goal, right? Yeah, I thought so, too.
- Maybe it’s a good thing that the international break is now here for Juventus. But it’s not like a huge number of senior squad players are going to be out on international duty, so it’s not like they’re going to be sitting around doing nothing for two weeks before Juve starts things back up against Empoli on March 30.
- One final message for all Juve players heading to their respective national teams: Please, please, please don’t get hurt. Thank you.