Rome - Cristiano
Ronaldo scored, but a wasteful Juventus had to settle for a 1-1 stalemate
at home to Genoa to end the Italian champions' perfect start to the
season on Saturday.
With eight Serie A wins and two in the Champions League Juve were all
set to extend that fine run when Ronaldo put Massimiliano Allegri's men
into a first-half lead.
But Juve were made to pay for failing to convert a hatful of chances when Daniel Bessa headed in a second-half equaliser.
Juventus retain control of the Serie A summit, but Napoli can reduce the gap to four points if they beat Udinese later on Saturday.
Ronaldo, despite the turmoil of explosive rape allegations that
surfaced before the international break, notched up his fifth goal for
his new employers since his headline move from Real Madrid in the 18th
minute, ironically helped by a mistake from Genoa's top-scoring Polish
striker Krzysztof Piatek.
A communications mix-up saw Piatek leave Joao Cancelo's blocked shot
for his 'keeper, but the loose ball fell at Ronaldo's feet and he tapped
in to an empty net.
This was the 33-year-old's 400th career goal in Europe's top five leagues, making him the first player to reach that tally.
Lionel Messi is next best on 389.
Ronaldo, who returns to Old Trafford on Tuesday to face his old club
Manchester United, would have bagged a double shortly after but his low
shot was denied by Genoa 'keeper Ionut Radu's diving save.
With Genoa struggling to contain the lively Cancelo down the right
Juve were firmly in control, their only regret at the break being they
weren't further in front.
Genoa had to wait until the 53rd minute for their first shot on
target, and unsurprisingly it fell to Piatek, but his hopes of swelling
his nine-goal Serie A haul were dashed when Juve keeper Wojciech
Szczesny tipped his shot around the post.
Energised, the 23-year-old should have levelled seconds later, outjumping Leonardo Bonucci but his header went wide.
In an attempt to stifle Genoa as they scented an equaliser Allegri
replaced Juan Cuadrado with Douglas Costa, the Brazilian winger making
his first appearance since a four-game ban for spitting.
Juve paid heavily for failing to kill off the encounter when Bessa
headed a cross from Christian Kouame into the back of the net on 67
Allegri responded by introducing Paulo Dybala for Blaise Matudi as a
frantic finale beckoned with Genoa holding on for a surprising point.
Earlier, Roma came unstuck 2-0 to visiting minnows SPAL to dash their hopes of a fourth straight league win.
The hosts had beaten Frosinone, Empoli and above all city rivals
Lazio and had been hoping to improve on their sixth place in Serie A
ahead of Tuesday's home Champions League game with CSKA Moscow.
SPAL, who came a highly respectable 13th in Serie A following
promotion last season, went ahead with a slickly-converted Andrea
Petagna spot-kick on 38 minutes.
A flashing header from Kevin Bonifazi finished off a corner on 56
minutes to make it 2-0 to the visitors for their fourth win in nine
matches, losing their other five.