In the first game without Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his return to Manchester United after 12 years away from England, Juventus received Empoli, today (28), for the second round of the Italian Championship and was surprised and defeated 1-0.
Leonardo Mancuso scored the only goal of the game, in the 20th minute of the first half and, despite the changes promoted by Juventus for the second stage, Empoli held the result until the end.
With the defeat at home, Juventus continues without winning in the national tournament and has only one point, in 13th place. Empoli, defeated at home by Lazio in the first round, added their first three points and took 11th place.
Without being able to count on the team’s top scorer in the last three seasons, coach Massimiliano Allegri bet on a light attack, formed by Federico Chiesa and Paulo Dybala. The strategy seemed to work at first.
Chiesa, at 4 and 12 minutes created good opportunities for the hosts, but stopped at goalkeeper Vicario. In addition to the chances created, Juventus had more game volume and commanded all actions. The goal seemed a matter of time. And was.
At 20 minutes, the net shook, but for Empoli. Valente, the visiting team withstood the initial pressure and started to bother Juventus with the marking in the attack field. After a shot by Bajrami that exploded on the mark, Mancuso appeared free, facing the goalkeeper and sent it to the goal before the ball dropped.
The goal scared the hosts, who lost control of the game. On minute 25, Cutrone took a risk from outside the area and almost increased Empoli’s lead. The first stage followed without clear goal chances and the visitors led to 1-0 for the break.
Strikers Morata and Bernadeschi took the place of Mcknnie and Rabiot to reinforce the attacking sector of the Turin team early in the second half. Despite creating more chances, the owners of the house could not completely dominate the actions.
In this way, even with the good arrivals of Dybala and Kulusevski, Juve continued to be scared and, as the end of the game approached, the players got irritated with the successive mistakes.
Thus, without even suffering much pressure from the hosts, Empoli held on well, ensuring their first victory in the Italian Championship.
In the next round, Juventus will face Napoli away from home in search of the first three points. Empoli, in turn, plays at home against Veneza.