Juventus maintain pursuit of Serie A leaders Napoli with win vs. Genoa
Ten-man Juventus needed an own goal from Genoa defender Sebastian De Maio to maintain their pursuit of Serie A leaders Napoli.
With the Azzurri winning 2-0 at Lazio on Wednesday night, Juve had to beat lowly Genoa to stay within two points of first place.
They did so, thanks only to an unfortunate moment for centre-back De Maio, who turned Juan Cuadrado's cross into his own net to gift Juve their 1-0 victory.
Simone Zaza was sent off at the death for a Bianconeri side who remain right on the heels of Napoli, who also are managing to continue their winning ways to stay out of reach at the top.
The Bianconeri will have the chance to check their progress when the title rivals meet in Turin later this month, but for now all the reigning champions can do is concentrate on dominating everybody else.
Paulo Dybala might have fired the hosts ahead in the 12th minute when he ran at the Genoa defence before rasping the ball just past a post.
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Paul Pogba's free-kick warmed Mattia Perin's palms but Juve were struggling to break through an organised Grifone backline.
That changed on the half-hour mark when a fine solo run from Cuadrado brought the pacy Colombian into a position to shoot or cross -- his searing drive into the box took a crucial deflection off De Maio before spinning into the Genoa goal.
The visitors did not lose focus and almost equalised when play resumed. Dybala's mistake allowed Alessio Cerci to take aim from the edge of the area but veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was wise to the threat.
Juve dusted themselves down and resumed their pursuit of goals with Dybala feeding Zaza for a chance that the former Sassuolo striker wasted.
Perin almost gifted the Bianconeri another goal by dribbling inside his own box. Dybala came sniffing but the young keeper managed to clear his lines.
In the 75th minute Pogba sent a clever ball into Cuadrado's path, with a poor first touch letting the winger down and allowing Perin to nullify the danger.
Zaza, who did enjoy the last chance to change the scoreline when set up by the never-tiring Dybala just before full-time, was dismissed in stoppage time for a rather exuberant challenge on Armando Izzo.