“È un’ingiustizia.” Cried Tuttosport, as Juventus were controversially denied a win in the game away to Genoa on Thursday. Prior to the match, tensions rose as Gian Piero Gasperini aired his grievances regarding Milan and Juve’s choice in entrusting two inexperienced men with the role of Coach- a slap in the face for those experienced Tacticians who earned their positions as Coaches of Serie A sides. Perhaps he has a point and perhaps one day he will lead his beloved Juve, but for the moment, Juventinis are in awe of their current Coach and on Thursday, Gasperini was the enemy.
The black and white men travelled to Stadio Luigi Ferraris to face a highflying Genoa side in a vastly entertaining encounter and the stadium’s electrifying ambience certainly provided the perfect backdrop. As the whistle blew, it was the home side that was eager to entertain. But despite their avid determination, it was the opposition who scored the first goal, thanks to a beautiful moment of teamwork. The in form Mauro Camoranesi delivered a clever dummy cross to Claudio Marchisio in the box who allowed Vincenzo Iaquinta the chance to fire a clinical shot to give Juve the lead.
It was a brilliantly open start to the game and as il Grifone tried hard to respond Omar Milanetto came incredibly close to doing so. The ex-Juve midfielder managed to get past Giorgio Chiellini and sent the ball over to Giandomenico Mesto, who was denied superbly by Fabio Grosso. Despite the temporary threat, Juve were back in control as Genoa conceded a free kick. Grosso stepped up to deliver another pinpoint cross into the box for Amauri to nod in, but the Brazilian, who appeared to be bereft of confidence, missed the target. How he must have rued his wasted opportunity when moments later il Rossoblu equalised. It was Mesto who headed the goal in and sent the home fans crazy with delight. The goal blew the game wide open again and both teams went in search for their second but the first half ended level.
After halftime, it was a revitalised Old Lady that came back to the pitch. Once again, Marchisio was the man to pose the initial threat but Mesto’s vital block deprived the starlet of a possible goal. Nevertheless, the youngster was the protagonist again as he delivered another clever pass to Iaquinta, who regrettably, took too long to react allowing Marco Amelia a comfortable save. Juventus were now enjoying their dominance. Gasperini, desperate for a result, changed tactics to encourage creativity, the change had the desired effect as Buffon was forced into making his first save of the night.
Finally Juve found what they thought to be their winner, as Iaquinta headed in a goal from Grosso’s cross, only for it to be adjudged as offside. Video replays showed the striker was level with a Genoa defender and the goal should have stood. And as the Old Lady licked her wounds, Hernan Crespo took advantage and headed in Genoa’s second a minute later. To further compound Juve’s misery, Marchisio, the squad’s shining star of the night limped off the pitch with an injury.
But the Bianconeri were not ones for sulking and poured forwards in search of an equaliser. Finally, it came but, again, it was ruled offside. At least this time the decision was perhaps correct, even if Juve were only fractionally offside. Eventually, Trezegol, ever faithful to his nickname, scored the vital equaliser and allowed Juve to walk off with a point.
“I am really happy with this campaign so far, Ferrara is doing a superb job.” John Elkann said after the game. And so he should be, despite the contentious score line, the Bianconeri can certainly draw many positives from their performance on Thursday. It was the first match the Old Lady had played with true passion this season. And with an ever growing treatment room, the squad played as a team and fought for the point together. Trezeguet, the epitome of Juve class, who has recently seen his starring role given away to Amauri, commented: “I hope he scores soon because he deserves to. He is doing well.” A man once labelled as selfish was seen to be a firm team player as he not only scored but marshalled the defence in the final moments of the game. Ferrara must be credited with pushing through the notion of teamwork and for introducing a harmonious environment into the dressing room. Marcello Lippi, seen watching from the stands, would have been proud.
Furthermore, despite the Rossoblu’s stronger ball possession in the first half, it was the Bianconeri who threaded through skilful balls, got themselves into clever positions, struck powerfully and demonstrated their tactical superiority. One must also note the remarkable individual performances of the night. Iaquinta, usually criticised in these club focus pages, demonstrated a burgeoning talent and should have been credited with a brace. His commanding presence upfront and his ability to position himself were duly noted.
Meanwhile, the creativity of Camoranesi was obvious- he performed absolute magic in his second consecutive game. Whether it is down to Ferrara’s utter faith in the Italian national or Camo’s passion revived, he proved influential and instrumental in the match. As for Marchisio, what a talent he has developed into.
One man who has perhaps let his side down again, other than Christian Poulsen of course, was Amauri. The Brazilian wasted two clear chances and his inability to find the back of the net has begun to be a source of worry for the Old Lady. Even more disturbing are the amounts of money Juve are willing to pay to extend his contract. His knack for squandering goals has grown even more frustrating than watching Marco Amelia’s celebrations of Genoa’s goals (seriously did anyone see him against Napoli?). However, one couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the soon to be Italian forward. Despite the goal drought, he did run all night and his unwavering determination to score perfectly depicted Ferrara’s Juve.
Next up is a test against Bologna, a team that has only won one out of five. With Diego and Alessandro Del Piero rumoured to be back in the squad for the game at home, the Bianconeri should be able to achieve maximum points to continue their pursuit of honours. As for Jose Mourinho, did he turn off the TV after Juve’s first goal was disallowed?
Juventus Club Focus 2009/10
Great expectations – August 21, 2009
When in Rome – August 28, 2009
The decline and fall of the Roman Empire – September 1, 2009
World Champions – One in, one out, one remembered – September 4, 2009
International week (Georgia-Italy, Italy-Bulgaria)
Children should be seen, not heard – September 7, 2009
Diego lost to injury in victorious Roman repeat – September 15, 2009
The reserves exposed – September 18, 2009
Transforming the formation – September 23, 2009