Post subject: Juventus 1-0 Empoli
2. Apr 2016, 22:08
Cash on hand: 8,165.00
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Favorit: Gigi Buffon
| Despite a valiant effort from Empoli, the Azzurri came up just short, falling 1-0 to Juventus at Juventus Stadium.
Mario Mandzukic scored the lone goal of the match just before the break and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was called to make a couple of important saves to preserve the victory for the Bianconeri.
This first chance of the match fell to Juve’s Claudio Marchisio five minutes in, but the Italian was seemingly still shaking off the cobwebs after his spell on the treatment table, scuffing his effort harmlessly wide of the goal.
An Empoli corner kick after 14 minutes fell to Riccardo Saponara who somehow managed to balloon over from close range.
Two minutes later, and intelligent pass by Paul Pogba played Mandzukic through on goal but the Croatian’s first-time effort was too close to goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski.
In the 23rd minute a swerving Alvaro Morata wonder-strike crashed against the frame of the goal.
A few seconds later, Manuel Pucciarelli forced Buffon into a quality save before Massimo Maccarone and Stephan Liechtensteiner exchanged efforts in quick succession.
Juve took the lead just before the interval when Mandzukic nodded home a Pogba cross into the far corner of the net, concluding an open and absorbing first half.
Five minutes after the restart, Morata failed to poke home a Lichtsteiner cross from an acute angle.
Maccarone and Piotr Zielinski saw efforts finish straight at Buffon while Pogba nearly treated the Juve faithful to another brilliant individual goal but couldn’t direct his effort on goal.
Juventus should have added an insurance goal in stoppages but Skorupski managed to pull off a miraculous triple save before denying Simone Zaza once more in the dying embers of the match.
Empoli pressured the reigning champions throughout the second half but were unable to punish a Bianconeri side who were far from their best.
The victory temporarily brings the Bianconeri six points clear at the top of the table, with second-place Napoli visiting Udinese on Sunday. Empoli remain comfortably in 11th place despite stretching their winless streak to an even dozen matches.