The Granata started the game in an unfamiliar 4-2-3-1 formation (something that I suggested a week ago on Twitter) with Alessio Cerci playing as a trequartista behind lone striker Rolando Bianchi. This allowed Valter Birsa to start a match in Serie A for the first time, whilst Giuseppe Vives and Danilo D'Ambrosio also came into the team.
Genoa had the first shot at goal in the opening five minutes, but Marco Boriello's low shot was easily saved by Jean-Francois Gillet. At the other end, Alessio Cerci was inches away from giving Toro the lead, but his long distance shot whistled just past the post. Toro's attempted 4-2-3-1 experiment lasted less than ten minutes, as Mario Santana picked up an injury, and was replaced by orthodox striker Alessandro Sgrigna.
Torino were lucky not to concede when Kamil Glik's attempted clearance was charged down by Ciro Immobile, and Borriello was put through on goal - but once again he was thwarted by Gillet, who was rebuilding his confidence after making two mistakes against Milan last weekend.
The Granata took the lead after twenty minutes, when Valter Birsa delivered a fine cross from the left wing that was headed in by Rolando Bianchi, although I'm still not sure whether the Toro captain knew too much about it, as he seemed to turn his head and let the ball bounce off of it at the last second.
However Torino's lead only lasted ten minutes, as a Genoa corner was inadvertently flicked on by Alessandro Gazzi, and that touch diverted the ball into path of Andreas Granqvist who had the simple task of heading in from three yards out.
Both teams struggled to create clear cut chances at the beginning of the second half, but Torino should have taken the lead in the closing stages. A defence-splitting pass from Alessio Cerci put Sgrigna through on goal, but his shot crashed off the crossbar. Moments later Toro had another great chance to pick up three vital points, but Giuseppe Vives' header from another Cerci assist went narrowly wide of the post.
The match finished 1-1, and although another draw is not ideal - it was also essential that Toro didn't lose to a direct relegation rival, and therefore it should be looked upon as a point gained. However, next Saturday's match against Chievo (the last game before Serie A goes on a two week winter break) is now even more crucial, and anything but a victory is almost unthinkable.