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 at Genoa on Sunday.
A double strike from Brazilian midfielder Hernanes and a second-half effort from Miroslva Klose had been enough to send SS Lazio top thanks to a 3-1 victory away at AC Chievo Verona in the day’s early match.
Three days before meeting Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League, Juve showed poise and determination to remain unbeaten in 42 matches.
Genoa dominated the first half and went in at 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 when Marco Borriello slammed a header against the bar just before the hour mark. Gianluigi Buffon then did well to save Andrea Bertolacci’s strike.
However, Juventus pulled level moments later when midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini shaped a great shot past French goalkeeper Sebastien Frey from 25m.
The match then turned when Bertolacci fouled Asamoah and Vucinic put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.
Asamoah put the match beyond reach for Genoa when he pounced to slam the ball past Frey after Vucinic’s cross came off Genoa’s Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist.
Juve 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.”
Team P GD PTS
1 Juventus 3 7 9
2 SSC Napoli 3 6 9
3 SS Lazio 3 6 9
4 UC Sampdoria 3 3 8
5 Inter 3 3 6
6 ACF Fiorentina 3 2 6
7 AS Roma 3 1 4
8 Catania 3 -1 4
9 Torino 3 1 3
10 Genoa 3 -1 3
11 AC Milan 3 -1 3
12 AC Chievo Verona 3 -2 3
13 Parma 3 -2 3
14 Bologna 3 -5 3
15 Atalanta BC 3 0 2
16 Cagliari 3 -2 2
17 Udinese 3 -4 1
18 US Citta di Palermo 3 -6 1
19 Delfino Pescara 1936 3 -7 0
20 AC Siena 3 -1 -4
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, UC Sampdoria gave the other half of Genoa some cheer with a 3-2 win away at struggling newcomers Delfino Pescara 1936, while SSC Napoli continued their promising start to the season with a 3-1 home win over Parma.
While Lazio were celebrating, their cross-town rivals AS Roma were left scratching their heads after a 3-2 reverse to Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma had a 2-0 lead at halftime thanks to a headed goal from Alessandro Florenzi and a left-foot strike from Argentine 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 leveled 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 had settled into the match, Bologna came back at us,” Zeman said, admitting the hosts had suffered a “heavy blow.”
Inter began their late match away at Torino in need of a win to move out of a midtable position and Andrea Stramaccioni’s side had to wait only 13 minutes before Argentine Diego Milito put them ahead.
Inter, who host Rubin Kazan on Thursday in their Europa League Group H opener, then had Antonio Cassano to thank for the 83rd-minute goal that sealed a 2-0 win and moved them up to fifth, three points adrift of Juventus.