Serie A is back! And what better way to re-familiarise ourselves with the best league in Europe than taking a look at the opening game of the season. This was the pick of the opening day games as though Genoa were favourites and are hoping to qualify for Europe; Udinese, who nearly got relegated last season, have undergone a regeneration with the return of coach Francesco Guidolin and are themselves looking to those European places.
I think this is the first game I have covered where the teams have played three at the back and is a tactic I quite like, particularly when playing against a one or two man attack. However in this game, both side played a 3-4-3 with Genoa sitting slightly deeper out of the two through the centre.
The game wasn't exactly open in the first half and Udinese had the first real chance in the 13th minute on the counter-attack. Di Natale struck his shot straight at the goalie though who parried the powerful shot away. After this the game began to degenerate and the season had its first yellow card when Sculli went through the back of Sanchez. However the freshly booked Sculli had a powerful header at the back post saved on the line only a few minutes later.
As the first half began to come to its conclusion there was more worry for Genoa fans as first new signing Luca Toni had to be subbed off before a threatening long range shot from Udinese was well saved by Eduardo.
In the second period, the game began to open up and both sides had chances though undoubtedly the best of these fell to Udinese as all of the front line squandered chances to put the Bianconeri ahead. They would inevitably come to regret this. Genoa subsitute Mesto first went close on 78 minutes when he had a shot deflected wide and then two minutes later he would give his side the decisive goal. Dainelli headed back across goal from a corner and a slightly mistimed bicycle kick from Mesto was fortunate enough to sail past Handanovič into the Udinese goal.
From this point on Genoa defended in numbers and Udinese posed little threat in the final ten minutes. Not exactly a comfortable win for Genoa but they will be pleased with the three points and the way their new-look team has performed away from home.