For the first time this season, Juventus dropped points and were only capable of a 1-1 draw against Genoa, a side with a new coach and an improved sense of tactical balance.
Considering the talent within the Old Lady’s squad, Genoa should have been comprehensively defeated but instead, Juventus underestimated the opponent.
While the home side opened the scoring and showed of their superiority on the first half, their levels of concentration dropped in the second and Ivan Juric’s side exploited the errors effectively, grabbing the equaliser. Juve frantically tried to get the winner but their lack of composure and maturity saw them fail in their mission to continue delivering victories.
Considering how poor Juve’s attitude was on Saturday, the draw will serve to remind them that maximum effort is required in every game. A lesson they hopefully have learnt in time to face Manchester United in Old Trafford midweek.
This defence, especially without Giorgio Chiellini, is susceptible to huge lapses in concentration. Both Leonardo Bonucci and Medhi Benatia are capable of too many errors and do not offer the security they once did. This was not the first match in which we saw both disappoint and they will need to drastically improve and raise their levels of concentration and remain alert throughout the match if they hope to keep clean sheets and ensure safety at the back. This team cannot prove dependent on and ageing Chiellini.
Manager rating out of 10
5 — This was a game Juventus should have won and Massimiliano Allegri should have done more to guarantee greater determination and a show of character. His substitutions did little to change the game while the lack of composure and the inability to manage the game with intellect should raise a few alarm bells.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Wojciech Szczesny, 6 — Alert to halt Krzysztof Piatek and stop his compatriot from continuing his goal scoring exploits. Wasn’t at fault for Bessa’s goal.
DF Joao Cancelo, 6 — Other than Cristiano Ronaldo, Cancelo was the best on the field, for the first half at least. He never gave up on an attack, constantly created space for himself, delivered chance after chance to his teammates and spurred Juve on from the wing. Sadly, he disappeared in the second half, his mind elsewhere much like his teammates.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 4 — Wearing the captain’s armband, the defender who has become susceptible to lapses in concentration and frustrating mistakes in too many games this season was at fault for the equaliser.
DF Medhi Benatia, 4 — What happened to closing down an opponent? Benatia instead offered Christian Kouame all the time and space to deliver the ball that led to the equaliser. Unforgivable especially when he erred early in the first half, forcing Szczesny into a fine save as he struggled to stop Piatek.
DF Alex Sandro, 6 — He may not be the dynamic presence Cancelo is but he’s clever when in possession of the ball. Delivered what should have been an assist for a second goal that Juve’s forwards failed to convert. Fought till the end.
MF Rodrigo Bentancur, 6 — One of the few who didn’t disappoint and played with a good attitude. Worked on and off the ball albeit without making too much of an impact. Offered simplicity.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 5 — Another one of those performances where you see what it is Pjanic wants to do but his execution disappoints. The player is special but he’s too inconsistent considering his talents. He must impose himself and execute his ideas clearly in every match. Too many mistakes for a player who is supposed to always lead in the middle of the park.
MF Blaise Matuidi, 6 — Fought to win back possession as often as he could and offered combative play. Again, not always the best when it comes to executing accuracy. Perhaps a little tired.
FW Juan Cuadrado, 6 — He and Cancelo seem to have forged a good understanding with one another, helping to mount chances and create danger. Alert and determined.
FW Mario Mandzukic, 5 — Missed his cues, failed to create any real danger or apply pressure on the opposition. Exerted energy but not good enough on the day.
FW Cristiano Ronaldo, 7 — The best on the field even if he squandered a few goal scoring opportunities. Hit the woodwork and grabbed the opening goal of the game to make him the first player to score 400 goals in Europe’s top five leagues. Worked hard for the team even if more is still expected.
FW Douglas Costa, 5 — Where is the real Costa? A sub-par performance from the player who usually find the space and dazzles with his pace and dribbles. Mistake after mistake.
FW Paulo Dybala, N/A — The ball fell kindly for him from a Cancelo ball but he delivered wide, squandering the chance. Lacked composure when offered another chance and reacted hastily and shot rather than make the right decision.
FW Federico Bernardeschi, N/A — Not on long enough to make an impact.