MILAN (Reuters) - Juventus moved back within a point of Serie A leaders Napoli with a 1-0 win at home to Genoa on Monday although it was hardly a convincing display from the defending champions.
Douglas Costa scored in the 16th minute, ending Genoa keeper Mattia Perin’s run of four successive clean sheets in the league, to keep his second-placed team on Napoli’s heels.
Napoli and Juve have each won their last five Serie A games, to reach 54 and 53 points respectively, with Lazio and Inter Milan now trailing the Turin side by 10 points.
Costa found Mario Mandzukic on the left and he wrong-footed the Genoa defence with a neat pass back to the Brazilian who was left unmarked to slip the ball past Perin from close range.
Genoa were penned into their half for most of the opening period although Diego Laxalt threatened with a long-range drive which fizzed over Wojciech Szczesny’s crossbar.
Juventus continued to dominate possession after halftime but could not to find the killer second goal.
Genoa grew in confidence and pushed forward near the end, causing rare panic in the Juve area before Giorgio Chiellini cleared the ball, but they never looked truly threatening.
Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Ken Ferris