Juventus vs Genoa, final score 1-1: Marco Borriello boosts Davide Ballardini's Genoa return

Valerio Pennicino

Fabio Quagliarella managed to break through the Genoa defense in the second half, but substitute Marco Borriello equalized for the visitors. Despite an injury forcing Genoa to play with ten men for the final twenty minutes, they hung on for a surprising draw, even amidst end of game controversy.

Davide Ballardini faced a tough test at Turin on Saturday evening -- his first match back at Genoa and his side was up against Juventus.

The visitors showed they were up for the challenge from the moment the whistle blew. It was Ruben Olivera, making the most of a ball from Ciro Immobile, but the shot was blocked. A few minutes later, it was Immobile himself trying his luck, but it was a poor header and easily collected by Gigi Buffon.

Juve's first shot came in the 9th minute, courtesy of Arturo Vidal, although the attempt was easily blocked. For the most part, though, Genoa's defense kept the bianconeri at bay for the first twenty minutes.

All eyes were on Paul Pogba after last week's impressive display in the 4-0 win over Udinese. The midfielder, continuing to fill the Andrea Pirlo role, put a great ball in for Claudio Marchisio. But the prince was just a bit off today, and was unable to put a good finish on his shot.

The half ended with a wasted effort from Fabio Quagliarella. The forward got on the end of a cross from Stephan Lichtsteiner, but the shot went just wide.

Juventus came into the second half looking determined to get all three points and maintain their cushion over Lazio and Napoli. Martín Cáceres very nearly had the ball in the back of the net, but Sebastien Frey did well to stop and keep the home side scoreless. But it lasted all of two minutes, before Quagliarella had the opening goal in the 53rd minute. He got on the end of a low cross from Lichsteiner and, with the help of a deflection, turned the ball into the back of the net.

But, perhaps shockingly, Genoa found the equalizer in the 68th minute. Marco Borriello, most recently at Juve, came on for Immobile in the 60th minute. He made an immediate impact, upping the tempo and pressuring the Juventus defense. The true beauty of the goal came from Juraj Kucka, who floated in a beautiful cross to the far post. Andrea Barzagli kept Borriello onside, and the forward needed just a tap to get the equalizer.

Then, with nearly 20 minutes left to play, an injury forced Antonio Floro Flores off the pitch, after Ballardini had used all three subs. The new man in rossoblu had been having a bit of a nightmare match, so it wasn't a huge loss, but it still left Genoa down a man and forced to defend against the best team in Serie A.

Yet, somehow, they managed. In the 82nd minute, Sebastian Giovinco, on to replace Quagliarella, put in a fantastic free kick. In the end, the ball curved wide, but that only increased the Juventus pressure. Antonio Conte took off Claudio Marchisio, replacing him with young forward Stefano Beltrame. Beltrame almost had a dream Serie A debut, taking a powerful shot from outside the area, but Frey did just enough to keep it out.

With Juventus involved, it was impossible for the match to pass without controversy. This time it came in what was nearly the last move of the game. Andreas Granqvist, desperately attempting to clear the ball, slid, kicking the ball into his hand. Italian referees are advised that a ball ricocheting from the boot to the arm is not a penalty; as such, Marco Guida refused to point to the spot.

The bianconeri made their displeasure unknown, surrounding the referee after the final whistle. Conte was livid, and both Lichtsteiner and Vucinic picked up yellow cards, meaning they'll miss the next match.

Juventus: Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Martín Cáceres; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio (Stefano Beltrame 82), Paolo De Ceglie (Emanuele Giaccherini 73); Fabio Quagliarella (Sebastian Giovinco '69), Mirko Vucinic

Genoa: Sebastien Frey; Andreas Granqvist, Thomas Manfredini (Marco Rossi 66), Emiliano Moretti; Eros Pisano, Matuzalem, Juraj Kucka, Ruben Olivera (Andrea Bertolacci 59), Luca Antonelli; Antonio Floro Flores, Ciro Immobile (Marco Borriello 60)

Goals: Quagliarella 53 (J), Borriello 68 (G)

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