Sime­one stuns Juve

> Gio­vanni, son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego, on the dou­ble for Genoa

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

AQUICKFIRE brace from Gio­vanni Sime­one, the son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego, carved the Serie A ti­tle race open yes­ter­day as Genoa claimed a stun­ning 3-1 win over lead­ers Ju­ven­tus.

Juve’s third de­feat of a sea­son in which they are hop­ing to se­cure a record sixth con­sec­u­tive scud­etto left the Turin gi­ants just four points ahead of Roma, 3-2 win­ners over Pescara thanks to an Edin Dzeko brace, and on-form AC, who beat Em­poli 4-1 away on Satur­day.

Coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri ad­mit­ted the de­feat was a blow in a game that saw Leonardo Bonucci and Dani Alves added to the club’s lengthy in­jury list, Alves no­tably suf­fer­ing a frac­tured shin that could rule him out for sev­eral months.

“It’s a blow and has brought us back to earth with a bump,” said Al­le­gri of the cham­pi­ons’ third de­feat of the cam­paign.

“I’m an­gry, but no team is ca­pa­ble of win­ning all the time.”

Ju­ven­tus trav­elled to the Luigi Fer­raris Sta­dium with­out a num­ber of key play­ers, with for­wards Paulo Dy­bala and Marko Pjaca and de­fender An­drea Barza­gli no­tably all in the treat­ment room.

Ex­pe­ri­enced de­fender Gior­gio Chiellini was only fit enoug for the bench, mean­ing a start in the back three for Swiss wing-back Stephan Licht­steiner.

With Ar­gen­tine striker Gon­zalo Higuain in the same straits due to a mus­cle prob­lem, Al­le­gri was forced to play Juan Cuadrado up front along­side Mario Mandzu­kic.

Genoa sensed an up­set, and were 2-0 up by the 13th minute thanks to a fine Sime­one dou­ble.

“We’re de­lighted to have beaten the strong­est team in Italy, it gives you a spe­cial kind of sat­is­fac­tion,” said Genoa coach Ivan Juric.

“We had a great game and ev­ery­one was com­pletely fo­cused. I want us to kick on from this and have more con­fi­dence in our­selves.”

Else­where Cro­tone moved off bot­tom spot thanks to a 1-1 home draw with Sam­p­do­ria, thanks also to Palermo’s ear­lier 1-0 de­feat to Lazio that sent the Si­cil­ians to rock bot­tom.

Lazio are up to third, just five points be­hind Juve, ahead of next week’s derby with Roma.

Coach Si­mone In­za­ghi said thoughts of a derby win had in­spired them on their way to a dom­i­nant, 1-0 win pro­vided by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s 31st minute win­ner.

“It had an ef­fect on us, for sure,” he said. “Our fans ex­pect a lot from us next week so we went out to pre­pare.”

Roma raced to a 2-0 lead at the Sta­dio Olimpico thanks to a Dzeko brace in the space of three min­utes that took his league-lead­ing tally to 12, two ahead of Torino’s An­drea Belotti and In­ter’s Mauro Icardi.

But a 60th minute strike from Le­dian Me­mushaj re­duced ar­rears and af­ter Diego Perotti hit a 71st minte third from the spot, Pescara set up a tight, ner­vous fi­nale af­ter Gian­luca Caprari struck their sec­ond only three min­utes later. – AFP

Genoa’s Lu­cas Ocam­pos (bot­tom) and Gio­vanni Sime­one cel­e­brate af­ter yes­ter­day’s Serie A win over Ju­ven­tus at the Luigi Fer­raris sta­dium. – REUTERSPIX

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