Alves injured, Juventus embarrassed at Genoa
An embarrassing defensive display by Juventus led to their third league defeat of the season as Genoa thrashed the giants 3-1, scoring all three goals before the half hour mark.
Ivan Juric's side are aggressive and determined and while they have struggled in recent games, they have always proved a threat. Yet the way in which Juventus were overwhelmed and controlled suggested they had not properly prepared for the task at hand, resulting in their comprehensive defeat.
A side ravaged by injuries, Juventus must address the number of muscle woes suffered while better organisation and preparation would have avoided such an embarrassment of an afternoon.
None to speak of but Daniele Rugani's introduction to the team provided the backline with the composure they had lacked up until that point. Mature, calm and intelligent, the centre-back has progressed impressively during his time at Juventus and has proved to be a defender Massimiliano Allegri can rely on.
Juventus's success over the years has been built upon a strong defence, one that has appeared impenetrable. The lack of organisation, communication and determination against Genoa resulted in the concession of three goals, two in the first ten minutes of the game.
Dani Alves is not a defender by any stretch of the imagination, Leonardo Bonucci surrenders to panic when not accompanied by a calm teammate while Medhi Benatia proved he can be easily overwhelmed. Without midfielders to take responsibility to track back and provide cover, Juventus were ripped apart by a side that has struggled for wins this season.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Allegri must take responsibility for his failure to properly prepare the side for this match. Genoa's strengths are known and the fact their aggressive style of play was not adequately addressed suggested complacency. Allegri underestimated his opponent and overestimated his men, playing them in unfamiliar roles hoping their superior talent would prove enough. Took too long to return players to their rightful roles and transform to a 4-3-1-2 shape in search for answers.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Gianluigi Buffon, 6 -- Managed three saves in the move that led to Giovanni Simeone's first goal. Buffon did all he could to make up for his defence's mistakes but was ultimately beaten.
DF Dani Alves, 4 -- Asked to rotate with Stephan Lichtsteiner, the player wants to be a forward and is incapable of defending. Outdone by Lucas Ocampos and overwhelmed by speed and dribbles, Alves cannot be played unless he has a defensive mastermind behind him covering up for his mistakes.
DF Leonardo Bonucci, 4 -- A terrible performance from the stalwart who allowed Genoa to score the opening goal. Imprecise, overwhelmed and lacking in composure, Bonucci was not at his usual best. Replaced after half an hour due to a hamstring injury.
DF Mehdi Benatia, 4 -- Failed to communicate with his teammates and surrendered to panic with ease. All in all, a poor performance from the player but he marginally improved in the second half.
WB Stephan Lichtsteiner, 5 -- A shadow of his former self. His greatest asset was his understanding of the 3-5-2 formation but now he's suffering to comprehend Juve's style of play, looking confused and vulnerable defensively.
MF Sami Khedira 5 -- Non existent. Failed to help stem the tide or control play while he offered no respite in attack. Didn't make his usual runs forward to offer another outlet.
MF Hernanes, 5 -- At times, he can play with such determination but overall, the player struggles to convert defence into offence with ease. Error prone, slow and frustrating when he chooses to strike from distance, one goal does not warrant a thousand attempts for a repeat.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 6 -- Abysmal in the first half when Juventus needed a leader to impose his character and control play to offer respite. Scored the goal from a free-kick in the second but the player squandered many playable balls.
WB Alex Sandro, 6 -- Always good when going forward, always terrifying when he tries to defend. Must stop making mistakes at the back or he will continue to be humiliated.
FW Juan Cuadrado, 6 -- A player lacking in intelligence yet asked to play in a variety of roles. Struggled to interpret his position well and proved imprecise. Better once Gonzalo Higuain came on.
FW Mario Mandzukic, 6 -- Battled at the top and should have been awarded a penalty but the Croatian should better covert his chances. Squandered opportunities.
DF Daniele Rugani, 6 -- His introduction restored serenity to the back line. Calm and composed.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 6 -- Came on and looked capable of inflicting danger but not yet playing at his optimum levels.
MF Stefano Sturaro, 6 -- Came on to provide the muscle and proved capable.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.