Ronaldo scores but Juventus’ perfect start ended by Genoa

0
972

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to score 400 goals in Europe’s top five leagues as Juventus dropped points for the first time this season following a 1-1 Serie A draw with Genoa on Saturday.

The Portuguese striker’s fifth league goal for Juve carried him to the milestone, adding to his 84 strikes for Manchester United in the Premier League and 311 for Real Madrid in La Liga.

Ronaldo put Juventus ahead in the 18th minute during a dominant first half, but sloppy defending from the hosts allowed Daniel Bessa to draw Genoa level after the break and end Juve’s 10-match winning streak in all competitions.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri blamed his players for being sidetracked by their Champions League trip to Manchester United on Tuesday.

“It’s simple,” he told reporters. “Genoa did well not toexpose themselves, but these things shouldn’t happen. We played for 10 minutes and then started thinking about Manchester.

“We went from being frenetic to falling asleep and vice-versa. We should have had our mind on the job.

“I think it’ll be a good lesson for us, as this is a wake-up call, so everyone can remember that nothing is to be taken for granted. Every match has to be won on the pitch in 90 minutes. Nothing is guaranteed or won before we’ve stepped on to the pitch.

“It’ll be very different with Manchester United, as we will both be playing to win. Genoa did well today to play in defence and try to stay in the game, but I have to say this was the biggest example of drifting out of the game that I’ve seen in my five years at Juventus.”

Ronaldo had come close to opening the scoring after just 14 minutes when he powered a header onto the post from a Juan Cuadrado cross.

The Portuguese opened his account just five minutes later, tapping in from close range after Genoa failed to clear their lines when Joao Cancelo’s shot took an awkward deflection inside the box.

That effort put Ronaldo 10 goals ahead of Lionel Messi’s tally of 390 goals scored in Europe’s main leagues. The Argentine was on target for Barcelona in their 4-2 La Liga win against Sevilla. The atmosphere at the Allianz Arena was dampened after racist chants during Juve’s last home league game against Napoli resulted in a closure of the ‘Curva Sud’ section of the stadium. The Italian champions, though, were allowed to fill the seats with local school children.

Less than 20 minutes in on Saturday, he scored. There was a miscommunication between Genoa goalkeeper Ionut Radu and his defender on Joao Cancelo’s cross from the left, allowing Ronaldo a simple tap-in at the far post.

Genoa’s first goal at Juventus since January 2013 came from Daniel Bessa with a header in the 67th minute.

It was a memorable first match back in charge for Ivan Juric, who returned to Genoa for his third spell as coach.

The substitutes made the difference at Udinese. Fabian Ruiz replaced the injured Simone Verdi in the opening minutes and the midfielder scored his first Napoli goal in the 13th, curling a stunning 20-yard strike into the top right corner.

Dries Mertens doubled Napoli’s lead from the spot eight minutes from time after Udinese substitute Nicholas Opoku handled Jose Callejon’s effort.

There was still time for Marko Rog to score, just 40 seconds after coming off the bench. Napoli visits Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Roma fell to a surprise 2-0 defeat at home to 10-man Spal, which won at the Stadio Olimpico for the first time in Serie A in 53 years.

Roma went into the international break with four straight wins in all competitions while Spal had lost its last four.

However, the visitors took the lead shortly before halftime when Andrea Petagna converted a penalty after Manuel Lazzari was fouled by Luca Pellegrini. Spal doubled its advantage 11 minutes after the break as Kevin Bonifazi headed in a corner at the near post.

Spal goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic — the younger brother of Lazio midfielder Sergej — did brilliantly to fingertip Pellegrini’s effort onto the bar but swiftly went from hero to villain.

Milinkovic-Savic was booked for time-wasting and he received a second yellow card seconds later for petulantly throwing the ball away, leaving Spal with 10 men for the final 15 minutes. However, it clung on for its first win at Roma in the top flight since 1965.

Roma hosts CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday.

LEAVE A REPLY