Juventus
    Juventus
      08.11.2015 17:10 - in: Match report S

      Juve seal back-to-back Serie A wins in Empoli

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      The Bianconeri come from behind to beat Empoli 3-1 on Sunday, sealing consecutive Serie A successes for the first time this season

      Juventus battled back from behind to beat Empoli 3-1 on Sunday afternoon and sealed successive league victories for the first time in 2015/16.

      A quiet start to the encounter sparked into life after a quarter of an hour with the first shots on goal produced by Paul Pogba and Mario Mandzukic, before Empoli took a 19th minute lead against the run of play, Massimo Maccarone shooting low past Gigi Buffon from the edge of the box.

      Keen to quickly make amends after going behind, the Bianconeri turned the scoreline on its head in six action-packed minutes, first through Mario Mandzukic’s sliding finish on 32 minutes and then courtesy of Patrice Evra’s excellent header from Juan Cuadrado’s corner, ensuring that the visitors took a slender lead into the interval.

      Chances were in short supply during a quiet second period, as Massimiliano Allegri’s men looked largely in control of proceedings, and Paulo Dybala swept home his side’s third goal in the 84th minute to seal a win that sees Juve move on to 18 points in the Serie A table.

      In a scrappy introduction to the encounter, it would take until the 15th minute for either side to produce a shot on goal, Pogba hitting over the crossbar, and the visitors came even closer just moments later when Mandzukic flung himself towards Cuadrado’s dangerous cross, but could not quite get enough on the ball to direct it the right side of the post.

      From looking the likelier side to open the scoring, however, Juventus fell behind in the 19th minute, when Maccarone latched onto a loose Leonardo Bonucci pass and fired into the bottom corner to give Empoli the lead.

      The goal was the seventh time in 12 Serie A matches this term that Massimiliano Allegri’s men have conceded from their opponents’ first shot on target.

      And they had to be alert when Maccarone lashed another effort marginally wide of Buffon’s upright, the keeper also making a routine save from Riccardo Saponara.

      The Bianconeri had never scored more than once in an opening half so far this season, but they managed to do just that and overturn the early deficit in six action-packed minutes.

      First, Mandzukic got his toes onto Sami Khedira’s flick-on and slid past Lukasz Skorupski with his second goal in Italy’s top flight and third in all competitions since joining the club in the summer.

      Then, the men in black and white took the lead on 38 minutes, when Evra rose highest to head home Cuadrado’s corner from just inside the penalty area.

      Keen to regain the advantage they had lost before the break, Marco Giampaolo’s charges began the second period brightly and Maccarone nodded inches wide of Buffon’s post, albeit the veteran striker was flagged up for offside.

      Then, on the hour-mark, Saponara almost found the equaliser by steering a brilliant back-heeled effort towards goal, but Mandzukic managed to get his foot in the way to divert the ball over the bar.

      Chances would be few and far between, as Juventus managed to frustrate their hosts and eventually wrapped up the victory on 84 minutes, when Mandzukic hit the post and Dybala was at hand to tap in his fifth league goal of the campaign.

      The win sees Allegri’s men rise to 18 points with an opportunity to leapfrog old rivals Milan in the table when the Rossoneri visit Juventus Stadium on Saturday 21 November.

      #EmpoliJuve: PHOTOS

      JUVENTUS
      Buffon, Lichtsteiner (Padoin 87), Barzagli, Bonucci, Evra, Khedira, Marchisio, Pogba, Cuadrado (Chiellini 68), Mandzukic, Morata (Dybala 68)
      Unused substitutes: Neto, Rubinho, Caceres, Rugani, Alex Sandro, Lemina, Sturaro, Hernanes, Zaza.
      Coach: Allegri

      EMPOLI
      Skorupski; Laurini, Tonelli, Costa, Mario Rui; Zielinski (Buchel 86), Maiello (Diousse 58), Paredes (Krunic 68); Saponara; Maccarone; Pucciarelli
      Unused substitutes: Pugliesi, Pelagotti Zambelli, Bittante, Barba, Camporese, Ronaldo, Piu; Livaja
      Coach: Giampaolo

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