Stefano Sturaro

Getty Images

Serie A: Juventus falls, Napoli and Lazio win

Leave a comment

Juventus has fallen.

Cristiano Ronaldo was rested, and the Old Lady lost a match for the first time in Serie A play all season, stunned 2-0 at Genoa on a pair of goals in the last 20 minutes by Stefano Sturaro and Goran Pandev.

Juventus was toothless for much of the match, held without a shot on target the entire 90 minutes in just six total efforts. On the other side, Genoa collected 18 total shots, putting five of them on net despite just 40% possession.

The hosts nearly had the opener in the first 30 minutes but a penalty given for a handball on Joao Cancelo in the area, but it was cancelled after a check by VAR. They would remain dangerous throughout, and finally grab the lead in the 72nd minute through a most unlikely source.

Stefano Sturaro, off the bench just two minutes earlier for his first Genoa appearance since joining in January from Juventus on loan, scored with a bouncer from the top of the box. Nobody closed him down, and he took a feed from fellow substitute Pandev and slotted it past a diving Mattia Perin. Pandev then finished himself in the same corner with the left foot, taking a wonderful cut pass from Cristian Kouame and slotting it through to secure the win.

The Scudetto is in no danger, still 18 points clear of Napoli, but the loss is notable as Juventus was chasing an unbeaten season. Genoa moves into 12th with the win, a full nine points above the drop.

Elsewhere, Lazio and Napoli each scored four goals in wins. Amin Younes and Jose Callejon both scored inside the opening half-hour, while Arkadiusz Milik and Dries Mertens finished off the 4-2 win over Udinese in the second half. Kevin Lasagna  and Seko Fofana both scored before the break for Udinese to level things up, but Napoli was too hot to handle holding 66% of the possession and putting five shots on target, with four finding the back of the net.

Lazio, meanwhile, hammered Parma 4-1 with all four goals coming in a dominant first half. Luis Alberto bagged a brace, including one from the penalty spot, while Senad Lulic and Adam Marusic sandwiched that with strikes of their own. The penalty for Alberto was significant not just for him, but also for Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe who saw it go right under his outstretched arm for his 24th straight penalty without a single save.

Empoli picked up an enormous win in the relegation battle, topping fellow battlers Frosinone at home 2-1 to rise out of the drop zone. Francesco Caputo and Marko Pajac picked up the winners, cancelling out a late consolation by Luca Valzania in the 70th minute. The three points moves Empoli to 25 points on the year, one above Bologna to put them in 17th. Frosinone, meanwhile, remains in 19th on 17 points.

Finally, Atalanta and Chievo Verona drew 1-1, a brutal blow for Atalanta in the chase for a Champions League place, leaving them in seventh with 45 points, five back of Inter in the final spot.

Juve’s unbeaten season ends at hands of former player Sturaro

Simone Arveda/ANSA via AP
Leave a comment

Juventus is going to cruise to the Serie A title — a couple more wins will do the trick — but it will not do so without suffering a loss.

Second-half goals from former Juve player Stefano Sturaro and Macedonian legend Goran Pandev led 12th place Genoa past Juventus 2-0 on Sunday at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

[ MORE: Klopp dismisses Bayern talk ]

Pandev, a longtime Juve nemesis himself, scored nine minutes after Sturaro’s opener, with both players coming off the bench to bag their goals.

Remarkably, Sturaro scored three goals in 90 matches for Juve and was making his debut for Genoa. He had subbed into the match two minutes earlier!

Juventus was without Cristiano Ronaldo and kept Georgio Chiellini, Wojciech Szczesny, and Federico Bernadeschi on the bench following its memorable midweek UEFA Champions League comeback win over Atletico Madrid.

Juve holds an 18-point lead on second-place Napoli. The Old Lady has 10 matches left, while Napoli has 11 on the docket beginning with a 1 p.m. ET visit from Udinese.

Juventus 2-2 Bayern Munich: Comeback in Turin; Never count out The Old Lady

AP Photo/Massimo Pinca
Leave a comment

Goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben and a dominant hour from Bayern Munich were astonishingly wiped away by Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro, as Juventus drew its German visitors 2-2 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The second leg is at the Allianz Arena in Bayen on March 16.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

Bayern had a pair of tremendous chances in the first 25 minutes. They failed for different reasons.

First Gigi Buffon made a terrific save on a blast from Arturo Vidal, and then Thomas Muller bungled his in-tight shot after Robert Lewandowski set him up for what should’ve been the opening goal.

Bayern controlled the opening half, and broke through in the 43rd minute. Juve lost its presence in the box, and Muller simply had to pass into the goal from near the spot.

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 23:  Thomas Muller (R) of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Juventus and FC Bayern Muenchen at Juventus Arena on February 23, 2016 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Robben added his goal in the 53rd minute, moving around a pair of would-be tacklers to belt a shot past Buffon. 2-0.

Dybala put Juve back in the match with a goal out of little, firing a low shot past Manuel Neuer with 27 minutes left in the home leg.

[ MORE: Beckham says Van Gaal judgment should come after season ]

And while Dybala nearly equalized for The Old Lady, it was Sturaro who found the tying goal at Juventus Stadium.

Alvaro Morata headed across goal, and Sturaro poked home his second goal of the season to make it 2-2.