Juve remain unbeaten in 42 matches
Juventus’ Kwadwo Asamoah (R) celebrates with teammate Mirko Vulcinic
MILAN, Italy ● Two late goals from Mirko Vucinic and Kwadwo Asamoah sent Serie A champions Juventus back to the top of the table thanks to a 3-1 win away to Genoa on Sunday.
A double strike from Brazilian midfielder Hernanes and a second half effort from Miroslva Klose had been enough to send Lazio top thanks to a 3-1 away victory away to Chievo in the day’s early match.
But three days before meeting Chelsea in the Champions League, Juve showed poise and determination to remain unbeaten in 42 matches.
Genoa dominated the first half and went in for the break a goal up thanks to a 17th minute strike from Ciro Immobile.
But a double Juve substitution just before the hour mark, with Vucinic coming on for Alessandro Matri and Asamoah replacing Paolo De Ceglie, proved inspirational.
Genoa seemed ready to grab a second goal with Marco Borriello slamming his header against the bar just before the hour mark. Gianluigi Buffon then did well to save Andrea Bertolacci’s strike.
But Juventus pulled level moments later when midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini shaped a great shot past French keeper Sebastien Frey from 25 metres.
The match then turned when Bertolacci fouled Asamoah and Vucinic put the visitors ahead from the spot.
Asamoah put the match beyond reach for Genoa when he pounced to slam the ball past Frey after Vucinic’s cross-goal pass came off Genoa’s Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist.
Juve’s caretaker coach Massimo Carrera, standing in as Antonio Conte serves a 10-month ban for his role in an illegal sports-betting affair, said the match could have gone either way.
“We suffered in the first half, but in the second half we played wider, increased the pace and managed to turn things around,” Carrera told Sky Sports, underlining Buffon’s contribution.
“Gigi made a great save, without that miracle it might have finished 3-2.”
Prior to Sunday, only four teams had managed to win their first two games of the season and the same four maintained their 100 percent records.
In a highly entertaining match Sampdoria gave the other half of Genoa some cheer with a 3-2 win away to struggling newcomers Pescara.
Napoli, meanwhile, continued their promising start with a 3-1 home win over Parma.
While Lazio were celebrating, their cross-town rivals Roma were left scratching their heads after a 3-2 reverse to Bologna at the Olympic Stadium.
Roma had a 2-0 lead at half-time thanks to a headed goal from Alessandro Florenzi and a left-foot strike from Argentinian Erik Lamela.
But the Giallorossi were stunned late in the second half. On-loan Genoa striker Gilardino pulled one back on 72 minutes and the visitors levelled through playmaker Alessandro Diamani a minute later.
Alberto Gilardino then grabbed a shock winner on 90 minutes to leave Zdenek Zeman’s side in seventh with only four points.
“We had a solid first half and after we’d settled into the game Bologna came back at us,” said Zeman, admitting the hosts had suffered a “heavy blow”.
Inter Milan began their late match away to Torino in need of a win to move out of mid-table position.
And Andrea Stramaccioni’s side had to wait only 13 minutes before Argentinian Diego Milito put them ahead.
Inter, who host Rubin Kazan Thursday in their Europa League Group H opener, then had Antonio Cassano to thank for the 83rd minute goal which sealed a 2-0 win which moved them up to fifth, three points adrift of Juventus.
Fiorentina’s 2-0 win came courtesy of goals from Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic and former La Viola striker Luca Toni, who made his debut after recently re-signing for the Florence-based club.
Elsewhere, Siena drew 2-2 at home to Udinese.