A second half strike by Moise Kean saw Juventus claim a 1-0 win over Empoli at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening to move them one step closer to the Scudetto title.
Prior to the game, Massimiliano Allegri had spoken about the importance of Paulo Dybala in the coming games, and he looked set to start for the Bianconeri but suffered an injury during the warm-up. Rodrigo Bentancur stepped up in his place to adjust the formation into a 4-3-3.
EMPOLI COME OUT STRONG
The opening 15 minutes saw Empoli play a positive brand of football, as they counter-attacked with precision and pace, while keeping their formation intact. Daniele Rugani was forced into making a crucial interception inside the box, while Krunic unleashed a high-flying shot from the edge of the D that sailed over Szczesny’s goal frame.
One of Empoli’s best chances came in the 23rd minute when Krunic, again, found himself in open space. After making a run down the flank, he cut inside and fired from an almost identical position. This time, though, it went low and wide by inches, leaving the home fans gasping at his threatening play.
Juventus’ best chance of the opening stanza fell on the stroke of the half hour mark when Mario Mandzukic nearly saw his glancing header turn into the back of the net from Blaise Matuidi’s cross. However, it was well dealt with by Dragowkski. No further chances fell to either side as they walked into the break goalless.
Juventus came out in the second half looking to break the deadlock and they immediately tested the Empoli goalkeeper through a powerful hit by Bernardeschi that was turned around the post. Minutes later the Tuscan midfielder nearly found the back of the net again when he came rushing in and connected onto the end of a cross by Alex Sandro. The ball sailed over the goal as he collided with the opposition defender.
A third chance fell to Bernardeschi on the hour mark when he struck a beautiful volley on the edge of the box, only to see it sail high of goal again. Soon after, Allegri brought in Spinazzola to replace Alex Sandro, while Moise Kean came on for Blaise Matuidi.
KEAN SCORES STRAIGHTAWAY
The young striker couldn’t have asked for a better introduction into the game when he handed Juventus the lead with his first effort at goal. The 19-year-old beautifully connected onto the end of Mario Mandzukic’s lay-off to volley a low and direct ball into the back of the net, beating Dragowski with the tightest of angles.
The energy was flowing for the Bianconeri, and they nearly doubled the lead again through Kean when he found himself in a promising position of being one-on-one with the goalkeeper. However, Dragowski held his ground and got a hand to the teenager’s shot.
Juventus’ final change of the match saw Caceres replace Bernardeschi, as the Bianconeri held on to claim all three points in the game.