Juventus 4 Genoa 0: Much-changed champions make light work of strugglers
Massimiliano Allegri's squad rotation had little impact on brilliant Juventus as the Serie A pacesetters blew Genoa away in a 4-0 win that moved them 11 points clear of Roma.
A host of first-team regulars such as Giorgio Chiellini, Gianluigi Buffon and Dani Alves were rested following Juve's Champions League progression against Barcelona, but the reigning champions looked no less effective as they put even more pressure on Roma ahead of their trip to Pescara on Monday.
Juve's breakthrough came via an own goal from Genoa centre-back Ezequiel Munoz and the lively Paulo Dybala added to that almost immediately with a confident finish.
Mario Mandzukic netted a glorious goal just before the break, his first in Serie A since early February, with Juve truly cruising against their struggling visitors.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) April 23, 2017
But Leonardo Bonucci gave Mandzukic competition for the best strike of the match, as the defender produced an emphatic finish after a solo run in the 64th minute.
Juve hit the crossbar or post three times before the end of the match, but there was never any risk of Genoa punishing those misses. The visitors remain six points above the drop zone.
In light of Juve's European exploits during the week, Genoa would have been encouraged by Allegri's significant rotation. However, they were unable to hold out for long.
Juve went ahead 17 minutes in as Gonzalo Higuain chipped a clever pass into the danger zone and Munoz accidently nudged the ball into his own goal after Claudio Marchisio had missed it.
Dybala then added a second a minute later, emphatically finding the bottom-right corner from 16 yards after a one-two with Sami Khedira.
73 - There were only 73 seconds between first and second Juventus goals tonight. Hungry. #JuveGenoa
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) April 23, 2017
Any chance of a Genoa comeback was essentially vanquished just before the break.
Mandzukic saw his initial left-wing cross blocked, but the ball bounced back towards him and the Croatian caressed a sumptuous effort into the bottom-right corner.
Juve appeared to ease off slightly after the break, though at the back they looked as resolute as ever, with Genoa remaining ineffective despite seeing a little more of the ball.
Bonucci was key to Juve's strong display at the back and also made a decisive impact at the other end just after the hour.
Having picked up the ball inside his own half, the centre-back charged forward, darted past a couple of opponents and then sent a fine effort into the roof of the net from 25 yards.
It almost got even worse for Genoa a few moments later, but they were twice saved by the frame of the goal in quick succession, with Marchisio's 20-yard half-volley coming back off the crossbar and Higuain hammering the rebound on to the left-hand post.
Kwadwo Asamoah also hit the post with a 20-yard drive, though it had no impact on the outcome of the match as Juve unsurprisingly strolled home.