Turin: Cristiano Ronaldo controversially won and then converted a stoppage-time penalty, seconds after having a goal chalked off for offside, as Juventus finally broke down 10-man Genoa to win 2-1 and go back to the top of Serie A on Wednesday.
Ronaldo went down under a challenge from Antonio Sanabria and, although their was minimal contact if any at all, the referee pointed to the spot and the VAR officials confirmed the decision with a silent check.
The Portuguese forward then fired in the penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
It was rough justice on 17th-placed Genoa who played with 10 men from the 51st minute when Francesco Cassata was harshly given a second yellow card for tugging Paulo Dybala’s shirt.
Juventus, still unbeaten in all competitions under coach Maurizio Sarri, have 26 points from 10 games, one ahead of Inter Milan who beat Brescia 2-1 on Tuesday.
“We suffered a lot but we were the rightful winners. We created so many chances and deserved this win,” said Ronaldo.
“We got a bit anxious as the game we went because we needed the win but we kept on trying until the end.”
Genoa coach Thiago Motta said he would sleep well despite the defeat. “We played them on level terms until the end which isn’t easy here in Turin,” he said. “I don’t judge referees but I can say he was really severe with us.”
Juventus went ahead in the 35th minute. A corner was swung in from the left and defender Leonardo Bonucci got in front of Genoa goalkeeper Ionut Radu to score with a glancing header at the near post.
Genoa levelled within five minutes after Alex Sandro lost possession on the edge of the area. The ball was passed to Christian Kouame who mis-kicked completely but his shot hit his standing leg and flew past a wrong-footed Gianluigi Buffon.
The game veered in Juve’s favour when Dybala tried to squeeze past two players and Cassata was dismissed after the Argentine tumbled to the ground.
Juventus had substitute Adrien Rabiot sent off for a second bookable offence with three minutes to play but Genoa were still not safe.
Ronaldo turned in Juan Cuadrado’s pass in the third minute of stoppage time but, after Juventus had celebrated the goal, it was disallowed for offside following a VAR check.
But in the next attack, Ronaldo collected a pass inside the area, cut inside Sanabria and fell forwards.
He seemed to try to make contact with Sanabria rather than the other way round but the referee awarded a penalty and the irrepressible Portuguese converted.