Genoa vs Juventus 2-1: Criscito Finds Redemption in Dramatic Finish

In the 36th round of Serie A, the struggling Genoa hosted Juventus at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium. The first half turned out to be a complete snoozefest with the cautious Ligurians unwilling to take risks, and the visitors almost uninterested after sealing a top four spot last week. However, the encounter came to life in the second half following Paulo Dybala’s opener. The wasteful Bianconeri couldn’t finish the job, as they allowed the Grifone to complete a stunning comeback as Domenico Criscito redeemed himself by scoring the last-gasp spot kick following his wasted effort against Sampdoria last week.

Alexander Blessin started in a 4-2-3-1 formation spearheaded by the experienced Mattia Destro, who was supported by the young trio of Filippo Melegoni, Nediem Melegoni and Manolo Portanova. Pablo Galdames and Milan Badelj started in the double pivot.

On the other hand, Massimiliano Allegri unleashed a 4-3-3 lineup, with captain Paulo Dybala and Moise Kean joining Dusan Vlahovic in attack. Young sensation Fabio Miretti got his second start in a row, supported by Adrien Rabiot and the returning Arthur Melo in the middle of the park.

At the back Juan Cuadrado and Mattia De Sciglio also made their comebacks following brief spells on the sidelines, and slotted in the fullback roles, while Daniele Rugani received a rare chance to start at the heart of the defense, which was led by Leonardo Bonucci.

After dominating possession for the first five minutes, the visitors created the first major scoring opportunityof the match, as Dybala’s pinpoint cross from the right flank found Kean in front of goal, but the Italian’s header went above the woodwork.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of the very few exciting moments of what an absolutely abysmal first half of football, with the two sides scarcely producing anything noteworthy.

Juventus had some half-chances through the likes of Kean and Dybala, while Portanova produced the finest moment for Genoa at the end of the half, but the ex-Bianconero saw his long-range effort was parried away by Wojciech Szczesny.

Nevertheless, the second period started on a better note, as the Grifone almost broke the deadlock right after the restart, but Destro’s wayward shot headed towards the Curva Nord stands.

This turned out to be the spark that ignited the evening. A minute later, Kean fought to keep his marker off the ball before feeding Dybala who was at the edge of the Genoa penalty box, and the Argentine unleashed a shot with his weaker right foot that found its way to Salvatore Sirigu’s bottom corner, giving Juventus the lead out of the blue.

In the middle of the second period, La Joya almost completed his personal brace after receiving a pass from Vlahovic. The number 10 ran through a host of Rossoblu defenders before unleashing a scorcher that crashed against the crossbar.

An instant later, Rabiot’s pass found Kean inside the box, but the former PSG striker was denied by an excellent reaction save from Sirigu, who then made another fine save on Vlahovic’s effort.

At the 82th minute, the referee awarded Juventus a penalty following a challenge from Albert Gudmundsson on fellow substitute Marley Aké, but the decision was overturned following a VAR review, as the Genoa player had apparently reached the ball first.

This proved to be a real turning-point, as the hosts managed so snatch a late equalizer when Amiri’s brilliant through ball found Gudmundsson inside the box, and the Norwegian put it past Szczesny with a clinical finish.

A minute later, Genoa almost turned the result upside-down following a horrific mistake from Rabiot, but Amiri’s shot was somehow denied by the Juventus goalkeeper.

Late in stoppage time, Kean wasted a golden chance to seal the win for the visitors, allowing the hosts to gain a last-minute spot kick on the opposite end. Their captain Criscito had the nerves to take it and earn his side a win that maintains Genoa’s chances in avoiding relegation.

It was a night to remember for Ligurians who punished the disinterested an wasteful Bianconeri.