Paul Pogba created one goal and scored another as Juventus finally picked up heir first Italian Serie A win of the season, while Francesco Totti hit his 300th goal for Roma in a 2-2 draw with Sassuolo. Amid their worst start to the season in several decades, Juventus travelled to Genoa hoping to build on an impressive 2-1 Champions League victory over Manchester City in midweek.
Pogba helped break the deadlock in the 37th minute when he got on the end of Roberto Pereyra’s cross at the back post to fire a volley off the bar and into the net after the ball bounced off goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna for an own-goal. Juventus were given a boost when Armando Izzo saw red on the stroke of half-time after being cautioned for a second time when he pulled Juan Cuadrado to the ground.
But it took a penalty decision to see Juventus ease towards safety, Pogba stepping up to beat Lamanna on the hour after defender Giorgio Chiellini had been impeded by Diogo Figueiras. Juve’s first league win of the season came at the fourth attempt but the champions are still eight points adrift of early pacesetters Inter, who had Mauro Icardi’s first-half winner – the Argentinian’s first goal of the season – to thank for a patchy 1-0 win at Chievo.
Fiorentina moved up to third, three points behind Inter, after Khouma Babacar bundled home the winner in a precious 1-0 win over promoted Carpi, who saw Marco Borriello come close to levelling on several occasions. Roma sit fourth at a point further adrift after a frustrating display by Rudi Garcia’s scudetto challengers only days after they battled to a commendable 1-1 Champions League home draw against defending champions Barcelona.
Sassuolo made a lightning start and Gregoire Defrel fulfilled early promise when he left Morgan De Sanctis rooted to the spot with a fine daisycutter from 25 metres out. Roma soon levelled, although a suspicion of offside accompanied Totti’s goal after he latched on to Miralem Pjanic’s midfield pass to beat Andrea Consigli with a bobbling shot from the edge of the area. It was far from spectacular, but the goal took Totti’s tally to 300 in all competitions for the club for whom he made his debut in March 1993.
In Sunday’s late game, Napoli made amends for their poor start with a 5-0 defeat of Lazio that came complete with a Gonzalo Higuain double. Napoli had yet to win a league game but four days after routing Club Brugge 5-0 in the Europa League, Maurizio Sarri’s men eased the pressure with a determined performance that saw Lazio succumb to the scoreline for the first time since losing to Udinese in September 1984.