Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 24th goal of the campaign as Juventus restored their four-point lead at the top of Serie A with a comfortable victory at Genoa.
With second-placed Lazio coming from behind to beat Torino earlier on Tuesday, Juventus had their advantage atop of Serie A reduced to a single point.
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As expected, Juventus dominated proceedings from the first whistle, but went in at the interval level. Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin was in inspirational form to deny threatening efforts from Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi.
The Old Lady also had a strong case for a penalty waved away when Matthijs De Ligt was floored awaiting a corner delivery, while former Juventus forward Andrea Favilli was fortunate not to be shown a second yellow card.
But Juventus were much more ruthless after the restart and two goals in the space of six minutes put paid to Genoa's resistance. Paulo Dybala broke the deadlock with balance and flair, dropping the shoulder and curling a lovely effort beyond Perin. Ronaldo doubled the advantage with raw pace and power, slamming an unstoppable effort into the corner from 20 yards.
Substitute Douglas Costa put the game out of sight with a special goal from the edge of the penalty that may have just topped the lot, before Andrea Pinamonti scored a consolation for Genoa.
Juventus host rivals Torino on Saturday next, while Lazio welcome AC Milan to the Stadio Olympico, as the title race heats up.
Paulo Dybala e Douglas Costa, Genoa-Juventus
Image credit: Getty Images
Juve keep their cool to stay in control of title race. The Old Lady have not enjoyed visiting the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in recent years. Despite consistently struggling at the wrong end of the table, Genoa have proven to be an unlikely nemesis, winning three of their last six home meetings with Juventus. Lazio's victory over Torino earlier in the day piled the pressure on Maurizio Sarri, and after a frustrating first-half, Juve must have wondered if it was going to be one of those nights. Three goals of the highest quality put that notion to bed, however, as the reigning champions continued their hot streak. They have now won three on the bounce, scoring nine in the process.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus): After firing blanks in the Coppa Italia, Ronaldo's form had been questioned, with Sarri even calling his star man's fitness into question earlier this month. There are signs he is returning to his brilliant best, however, and tonight he ran the Genoa defence ragged.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Genoa-Juventus - Serie A 2019/2020 - Getty Images
Image credit: Getty Images
Genoa: Perin 7, Romero 6, Soumaoro 5, Masiello 5, Ghiglione 5, Behrami 5, Cassata 5, Schone 4, Sturaro 6, Favilli 5, Pinamonti 7. Subs: Barreca 5, Lerager 4, Biraschi 4, Pandev 5.
Juventus: Szczesny 6, Cuadrado 6, De Ligt 6, Bonucci 6, Danilo 6, Bentancur 7, Pjanic 7, Rabiot 7, Bernardeschi 7, Dybala 8, Ronaldo 9. Subs: Ramsey 5, Matuidi N/A, Douglas Costa 7, Higuain 5, Olivieri N/A.
14’ - PENALTY APPEAL! De Ligt collapses to the ground as the corner delivery comes in. He was clearly pushed in the back - but the referee says no penalty, even after a VAR check. A mystery.
30’ - FLASHPOINT! Favilli, already on a yellow card, goes in late on De Ligt, who rolls around in distress, but the referee keeps his cards in his pockets. A let off for Genoa, who I must say, are getting their fair share of fortune so far.
50’ - GOAL! Genoa 0-1 Juventus (Dybala). Juventus have their breakthrough! A typical goal from Dybala, it's a moment of magic for his 10th goal of the season. A drop of the shoulder, lovely close control and then he curls it into the bottom corner to finally beat Perin.
56’ - GOAL! Genoa 0-2 Juventus (Ronaldo). Oh, that is irresistible from Ronaldo! Defenders drop off him as he charges forward and then bends one into the corner from 20 yards.
73’ - GOAL! Genoa 0-3 Juventus (Douglas Costa). Oh my, what about that! Dybala and Ronaldo have scored beautiful goals, but this may just top the lot! Douglas Costa finds the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
76’ - GOAL! Genoa 1-3 Juventus (Pinamonti). Bonucci and Rabiot miss their clearances and it comes to Pinamonti, who smashes the ball past Szczesny from a tight angle. It's the first goal Juventus have conceded since the resumption of football.
- Seven of Paulo Dybala's 10 goals in this Serie A season have been the first of the game.
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