Davide Ballardini begin his second tenure as Genoa coach with an impressive result as he saw his side hold Serie A leaders Juventus to a 1-1 draw in Turin.
Juve controlled the first half, but it took until the 54th minute for the breakthrough to arrive. An excellent run from the tireless Stephan Lichtsteiner down the right culminated in a pull-back that provided a simple close-range finish for Fabio Quagliarella.
Just as the Bianconeri looked comfortable, Genoa hit back. Juraj Kucka cut inside from the right and whipped a left-footed cross to the back post, where substitute, and former Juventus striker, Marco Borriello was on hand to stoop and head in.
Juve were furious that they were not given a penalty in stoppage time when Geneo’s Andreas Granqvist accidentally kicked the ball on to his arm in the box.
After the match Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta stirred up huge controversy by suggesting that the referee Marco Guida didn’t give a penalty “because he is from Naples.”
“There are six officials around the pitch, but no synchronicity between them,” slammed Marotta.
“You can’t go in with your arms raised and then be given the benefit of the doubt because of your mistake.
“This is a period in which different situations have been occurring, but the fact remains the goal line referee was not listened to.
“I will only say that it is a mistake. The referee Guida is from Naples, so perhaps that is why he felt he was in a difficult position. He is a young official, so it’s normal to be under pressure in certain situations.”
Napoli can cut Juventus’s lead to just three points with a win at Parma on Sunday, as the pressure is beginning to tell in Turin.
In the day’s early kick-off, third-placed Lazio lost 1-0 at home to Chievo Verona. Alberto Paloschi, on loan from AC Milan, scored the match winner with his third goal in as many games.