Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stoppage-time penalty for Juventus to clinch a dramatic 2-1 win over 10-man Genoa. This has moved the defending champions back to the top of Serie A.
The Bianconneri had to respond to Inter Milan’s victory at Brescia on Wednesday to return to the top spot. They went ahead through Leonardo Bonucci’s 36th-minute header.
Gianluigi Buffon could get a clean sheet in his record 513th league appearance, as Genoa levelled four minutes later after he was fooled by Christian Kouame’s miskick.
The visitors went down to ten men with over a half hour to play after Francesco Cassata was sent off after picking up a second yellow card. The host later saw red as well after substitute Adrien Rabiot saw red in the late stages. That didn’t stop them from scraping an important win following Ronaldo’s intervention.
Ronaldo was offside when he put the ball in the net deep into stoppage time. He was subsequently caught by Antonio Sanabria in the box and made no mistake with his penalty, sparing Juve blushes.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia after the match, Ronaldo said: “I am very happy. It was a very difficult match against an organised team but we are Juventus, the motto is to [fight to] the end.
“We are very happy with the three points. We created a lot and we deserved it. Inter ahead in the standings was an extra stimulus.”
Sarri’s comment on the game
Also baring his thoughts on the game, Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri felt the victory was deserved.
He said: “Our first half was at a slow tempo and we seemed a little uncertain, allowing Genoa to close up the spaces too easily.
“Genoa pass the ball very well and they do not play like a team near the foot of the table. We ran into difficulties, as we raised the tempo after the break, but made too many mistakes.
“The victory only arrived at the end, but I feel it came as a consequence of all the work we’d done and the chances we’d produced before.
“At the moment, we are not converting enough of our scoring opportunities and we are conceding some really avoidable goals.”
Juventus unbeaten run
Juventus extended their unbeaten run to 13, with their last loss in a competitive game coming against Sampdoria in May.
Their next match in the league will be away from home as they take on Torino in the derby on Saturday.
The Old Lady can also secure qualification to the Champions League knockouts in their next European tie against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Russian capital on November 6.