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Juventus 0:1 Empoli – 5 Talking Points

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Turin giants, Juventus FC, were shocked by newly promoted team Empoli as Leonardo Mancuso scored his first Serie A goal in Empoli’s triumphant trip to Turin. Also, fans returned to the Juventus Stadium after months, which was a beautiful sight for everyone that bore a bittersweet ending as Juventus was not able to overturn the one-goal deficit resulting in a 1-0 loss, the first in Post- Ronaldo Era. Although a frustrating night, here are some lessons that we can learn from the defeat explained in the “5 Talking Points” through the lens of Bianconeri.

Federico Chiesa in action
  1. CHIESA SHOWING HIS MASTERCLASS

Thankfully, one of the positives from the last night’s fixture was our golden boy, Federico Chiesa. Even in the first 10 minutes, Chiesa forced 2 big saves from Empoli’s keeper as he dribbled past a bunch of defenders. Chiesa displayed an excellent individual performance as his efforts and pace were unmatched. Chiesa’s form looks promising, picking up from exactly where he left off in Euros.

The only thing I believe he should work on is polishing his ball delivery in the final third area.

  1. LACK OF GOOD FINISHING AND EMPOLI’S PUNISHMENT

Indeed, Juventus did create some good chances as they came close to scoring a goal on a number of occasions. Juventus took a total of 18 shots, out of which only 5 were on target. Chiesa, Dybala, Morata and even Rabiot got a fairly decent chance to score a goal, but lack of good finishing and coordination was the main factor we were not able to open up the scoring.

On the other hand, Empoli did exactly what they needed to do. They punished Juventus on counters and especially when Juventus was transitioning from attack to defence. The goal for Empoli also came in the same fashion; Juve lost the possession, Empoli quickly launched a counter-attack and caught Juve defenders out of position. The Tuscanian club had a lesser number of shots on target (3) than Juve (5). Yet, they still managed to convert one of them into a goal.

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Allegri instructing his team

  1. SURPRISING SUBSTITUTIONS

One thing that we can deduce from the line-ups of both the match days is Allegri still experimenting with the players he has. It is also quite certain that he’s trying new formations and tactics in the training ground as well because some of the players were at positions that were unknown to them before. One of the surprising things from the previous fixture was the substitutions made by Max.

The weird substitution that came in first was of Morata, who did not start the game but came at the start of the second half instead of Weston McKennie. Next was Rabiot, who saw his way out being replaced by Bernardeschi. Then in the 66th minute, a double substitution was made as Bentancur and Chiesa were substituted by Locatelli and Kulusevski, respectively. Manuel still has not made a full debut for the club, as he came from the bench in both games he played so far. Later on, a more tactical sub was made. Juan Cuadrado subbed off and De Sciglio took his place in the final few minutes of the game. The changes might look ‘absurd’ from the outside, but it can be some minor tactical tweaks that Allegri offers during every match. I don’t want to be highly optimistic, yet, it looks like Allegri is trying to cook something very interesting and delicious!

Perhaps, we just need to wait and give him some more time?

  1. STILL MISSING ONE FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

We played a 4-3-1-2 with McKennie being supposed to play as a number 10. Weston had to fill the box when we were in possession. The test surprised Empoli for the first 15 minutes until they realised Juventus was not so dangerous offensively and that we had a big gap in the midfield. Empoli exploited the spaces left by Rabiot and McKennie. In my view, Juventus is now in dire need of a tactician, a midfielder who can cover the centre backs. Someone who can also make the transitions smooth. As per the reports, Juve considers that Miralem Pjanic or Axel Witsel can meet the requirements of a player who can bring solidarity in the middle of the pitch. With the addition of Kean, I hope one tactical midfielder will act as a final missing piece in the puzzle.

Juventini’s return to the stadium

  1. FANS ARE BACK TO THE STADIUM

Last but definitely not least, it was a treat to the eyes to see Bianconeris back to the stadium. Approximately 20,000 fans were present in the stadium last night. Fans returning to the stands will not just boost the revenue sources, but can also help to keep the morale of players high. Something like that is much needed in Italy at the moment. Sadly, the night did not end in our favour. However, we have a lot to learn from the game.

We move on, Fino Alla Fine!

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