Genoa – Match Report vs Juventus 31/10/20

This is a guest post from Josh Bratch.

Genoa frustrated Juventus throughout this encounter but came away with nothing, losing 2-1 after a 95th minute Ronaldo penalty. Thiago Motta was the manager at the time and wanted his Genoa team to keep possession and play out from the back. However, Genoa’s best opportunities came from acting instinctively after winning the ball back. They played in a 4-2-3-1 formation, leaving little space for Juventus to create any chances, forcing the opposition into taking speculative, long-range efforts. Despite Cassata being sent off early in the second half, Genoa continued to play out from the back and felt they could have nicked a winner. However, they began to tire, allowing Juventus to fully dominate possession for the last twenty minutes. A poor Sanabria challenge gave Ronaldo a chance to forget his poor performance from the spot after being successfully nullified for the majority of the game by Romero.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Cristian Romero

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Argentine
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 27/04/1998
  • Current Club: Genoa, on loan from Juventus
  • Career: Belgrano, Genoa, Juventus, Genoa (L)
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Secondary Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Romero was the right sided central defender in Genoa’s back four. He was composed on the ball and was always willing to play a progressive pass, even whilst under pressure. He stuck to his manager’s tactics of playing out of the back throughout the game, rarely misplacing a pass.

His positioning was good throughout the game, making multiple key blocks and clearances. He helped restrict Juventus to very few clear cut chances and forced the opposition into shooting from long-range. His pace was rarely tested which is something that should be looked at in future, as he organised the backline to retreat quickly upon loss of possession, allowing little opportunity for a ball to be played in behind him.

He virtually man-marked Ronaldo whenever the Portuguese international came near the ball, thwarting him efficiently, using his strength and determination to make good challenges. He was rarely in vulnerable situations and won the vast majority of his duels, both aerially and on the ground.

He had poor communication with his team mates on the odd occasion, particularly when conceding the first goal from a corner when Bonucci was able to bypass several Genoa players to head in. Although Romero didn’t do anything that stood out as exceptional play, he was unswervingly decisive which suggests Romero is capable of defending at a higher level.

Rating – A2

Kevin Agudelo

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Colombian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of Birth: 14/11/1998
  • Current Club: Fiorentina, on loan from Genoa
  • Career: Atlético Huila, Genoa, Fiorentina (L)
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Secondary Position: Attacking-Midfielder; Left-Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

Agudelo had more attacking responsibilities as part of Genoa’s midfield three. However, because Genoa were sat deep for the majority of the game, this meant the Colombian showcased his dribbling ability mostly in the middle third of the pitch. He hardly influenced the game in the final third, acting more as a deep playmaker. He typically dribbled the ball through the middle third before releasing progressive passes into the front three.

He took players on with ease, using his agility and low centre of gravity. When gathering the ball in tight areas, even deep in his own half, he was clever and composed. He would control the ball in a way that meant he could move into space immediately. He retained possession and won many free kicks by using his deceptive strength and shielded the ball cleverly. He was expressive in his play and even though it didn’t always lead to an attack, he worked hard to try and win the ball back.

This is where Genoa’s goal came from as Agudelo’s counter pressing following a loss of possession led to an interception which knocked the ball directly into Kouame’s path. His good stamina worked well with his work rate to not only press forward when possible, but also to track back. He made multiple solid tackles in key areas and rarely lost a ground duel. What would be good to see in future is Agudelo using his fine dribbling ability in the final third.

Rating: A2

Paolo Ghiglione

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 02/02/1997
  • Current Club: Genoa
  • Career: Genoa, Frosinone (L), Pro Vercelli (L), SPAL (L)
  • Position: Right Back
  • Secondary Position: Right Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Playing at right back in this game, Ghiglione was inconsistent when dealing with his defensive responsibilities. He is not very agile or quick which meant he was comprehensively beaten in a 1v1 on a few occasions, being dribbled past too easily and struggled to keep up with his man. He failed to mark Ronaldo at the back post once but got lucky as the striker fluffed his lines. Yet, when possible, he would force the opposition down the line to cut out crosses. He had good awareness and concentration for the most part, using his strength and aerial ability cautiously.

From an attacking sense, he played a few good through balls for the striker to chase. He was always willing to interplay whilst under pressure and manufactured good passing phases of play. Genoa had few opportunities to counter-attack but when the opportunity rose, Ghiglione had plenty of energy to run down the line. On the few occasions he did receive the ball in the final third, he instinctively fizzed low crosses into his team-mate’s feet with mixed success. Ghiglione looked comfortable at right back, worked well with his teammates and was organised the majority of game.

Rating: B1

Christian Kouame

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Ivory Coast
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 06/12/1997
  • Current Club: Fiorentina, on loan from Genoa
  • Career: Prato, Cittadella, Genoa, Fiorentina (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Kouame played as a left winger in this match and managed to score a goal, albeit a fortunate one. His strike at goal was awkward despite having a good first touch. He held a good position on the edge of the box during the counter-press after Genoa had lost possession, meaning he didn’t want to give the opposition time to close him down.

His confidence grew after his goal, which led to him having a few shots at goal when in the final third. He set himself properly on one occasion before firing a shot well over the bar. He continued to back his ability to take a man on all over the pitch but was inconsistent in retaining possession, despite working hard to redeem himself. He was persistent and kept the ball well for the most part.

For large parts of the game, Kouame had to defend. His sprinting and acceleration going forward were rarely tested as Genoa’s interplay was more focussed down the right-hand side. He often failed to track runs but tried his best to recover and learn from his mistakes. He made a couple good headed clearances from corners. He lasted eighty minutes as he tired towards the end.

Rating: B1

Andrea Pinamonti

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of Birth: 19/05/1999
  • Current Club: Genoa
  • Career: Inter Milan, Frosinone (L), Genoa (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Pinamonti had a difficult game as he had to feed off of scraps. He only had a couple chances to score but failed to make the most of them. His clearest opportunity came early on with a timid strike that didn’t trouble the keeper after making a good run in behind the defence. However, his confidence did not fall as he endeavoured to manufacture opportunities for his team by bringing his teammates into play during the entire game.

He won many headers and was confident to take the ball down and take a man on. He was tidy with his feet and held play well using his height and his strength to slow the game down. He won several free kicks and made some good runs in behind and out wide to try and stretch the game.

He pressed selectively, closing down passing spaces out wide where he felt he had a better opportunity to intercept. He worked hard all game despite tiring towards the last 10 mins.

Rating: B1

Francesco Cassata

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 16/07/1997
  • Current Club: Genoa, on loan from Sassuolo
  • Career: Juventus, Sassuolo, Frosinone (L), Genoa (L)
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Cassata played central midfield for Genoa. He began the game quite shy of playing a progressive pass and always chose the easier option. Despite this, the more the match went on, the bolder he became. He fizzed passes into the striker’s feet and played long range passes to move his team up the pitch.

It became obvious that his role was to retain possession in tight central areas and be patient on the ball when trying to break through the opposition. His performance reflects his work-rate and determination to win the ball back, having good stamina. He had good awareness for what was around him, holding his position well when out of possession.

However, it was his gamesmanship that let him down when he received a second yellow card for a pull back to slow the game down early in the second half. He was already booked only 4 minutes into the game for this. He repeatedly gave away free kicks and didn’t learn from his mistake.

Rating: C

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