A wasteful Juventus made hard work of a 2-0 win over Serie A strugglers Genoa on Sunday evening.
Juve dominated proceedings from the first whistle, restricting their opponents to a grand total of zero shots on goal, but their finishing left a lot to be desired. Despite firing off 27 efforts themselves, they only scored twice.
The first came directly from a corner early on but they waited until the 82nd minute to put the game to bed, when Paulo Dybala settled things with a terrific strike.
The hosts started well and took the lead in bizarre circumstances inside eight minutes when Juan Cuadrado’s corner beat everyone, including goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Sirigu redeemed himself throughout the half, pulling off fine saves to deny Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala. However, the best chance of all fell to Matthijs de Ligt who headed straight at the veteran stopper from point-blank range.
Meanwhile, Genoa offered nothing in response, failing to register a single effort at goal during the first 45 minutes.
The one-way traffic continued after the break with Dybala curling an effort just over the bar a few minutes into the second half.
Juve continued to create chances but, as has been the story of their season so far, they just could not put the ball in the back of the net. Dybala missed another great opportunity on the hour-mark, seeing his sliding effort blocked by Sirigu when he looked destined to score.
The Argentine made amends for this miss nine minutes from time, taking a pass from Federico Bernardeschi in his stride before firing a left-footed effort into the far corner.
The victory moves Juventus up to fifth in the Serie A table, although they remain 11 points off leaders Milan.
Here are your Juve player ratings from Turin…
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – 6/10 – Could have set up a deckchair in the first half, such was his limited involvement. The second wasn’t much busier either.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – 7/10 – His goal had a lot to thank Sirigu for, but it was still a wicked cross. Got up and down effectively after that.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – 7/10 – Missed a big chance in the first half. Passing was sublime.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – 7/10 – An extremely comfortable day at the office. Made a few important interventions.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – 6/10 – Battled hard, putting in a physical display. Taken off at half time after picking up a harsh yellow card.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – 7/10 – Excellent. Broke up play with ease and impressed with a few dynamic ventures forward.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – 7/10 – Set the tone for Juve’s physical performance with a huge tackle in the opening exchanges. Knitted things together.
Paulo Dybala (AM) – 8/10 – Terrific work rate. He fired off a few lovely efforts and finally got his goal nine minutes from time.
Dejan Kulusevski (RW) – 5/10 – A spritely performance. He was always looking to create but his final ball was tame most of the time.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – 3/10 – His finishing was abject throughout. A couple of overhit passes did not help his case. His head went towards the end and he had a heated disagreement with his manager on the sideline.
Federico Bernardeschi (LW) – 6/10 – Another average display. At least his wait for a Serie A goal or assist this season is at an end.
Alex Sandro (LB) – 6/10 – Did fine after replacing Pellegrini.
Moise Kean (ST) – 5/10 – Booked seconds after coming on for a player who had been taken off as he was on a yellow card. Brainless.
Adrien Rabiot (RW) – N/A
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