SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 10 - 27 Oct 2018 (17.00 UK)
1 - 2 Juventus
Caputo 28 (E), Ronaldo pen 54, 70 (J)
Stadio Carlo Castellani

Francesco Caputo had given Empoli a deserved lead, but Cristiano Ronaldo turned it around with a penalty and a magnificent strike for a Juventus victory.

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The Bianconeri saw their perfect start to the season ruined by a 1-1 draw with Genoa last week, but bounced back straight away with a Champions League victory at Old Trafford. Emre Can, Sami Khedira and Mario Mandzukic were still out of action, while Empoli missed Levan Mchedlidze, Frederic Veseli and Alejandro Rodriguez. Antonino La Gumina was dropped in favour of veteran Ciccio Caputo and a 4-3-2-1 formation.

Giorgio Chiellini pulled out in the warm-up, so Daniele Rugani stepped in against his old club and Paulo Dybala inherited the captain’s armband.

Juve were unbeaten against Empoli since a 1-0 Castellani result in April 1999, followed by 12 wins and two draws, home and away in Serie A.

Federico Bernardeschi was ready to tap in an Alex Sandro ball rolled across the six-yard box, but Cristiano Ronaldo dived in first and neither of them could get a clean shot.

Empoli grew into the game and put together a series of corners, but Rade Krunic’s curler was too close to Wojciech Szczesny.

Domenico Maietta risked an own goal with his scuffed interception of a Blaise Matuidi cross, but Empoli were pushing and ultimately took the lead.

Afriyie Acquah surged forward, a deflection took it back into the path of Caputo, who swung the left-foot strike into the far top corner from just inside the box.

Ronaldo’s towering header was into the arms of Provedel, while Di Lorenzo was anticipated as he tried to volley in a Miha Zajc free kick. Acquah went on another forceful run, but this time Zajc tried to cut inside on to his right boot and was blocked off inside the penalty area.

The referee viewed VAR footage on the stroke of half-time for a Leonardo Bonucci handling offence, but it was too close to his chest to be considered voluntary or decisive.

This was the first time this season that Juventus had gone into the break a goal down and they came out fighting for the second half. In the same move, Provedel rushed off his line to parry Alex Sandro at the far post, then fingertipped the Pjanic strike on to the crossbar from a tight angle.

Empoli gifted a penalty, converted by Cristiano Ronaldo, as Bennacer’s touch was heavy and he clumsily bumped into the back of Paulo Dybala in an attempt to recover.

Bonucci had to make an interception as Rade Krunic’s deflected shot was rolling into the path of Caputo, but Ronaldo turned the game around completely with a stunning individual effort.

CR7 unleashed a right-foot screamer from 20 metres out that swerved and dipped into the far top corner, giving Provedel absolutely no chance.

Substitute Juan Cuadrado tried to set up Ronaldo for a hat-trick, but the pull-back was behind his teammate. Krunic’s scuffed shot was smothered by Szczesny and Caputo’s volley on the turn landed on the roof of the net.

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: Provedel; Di Lorenzo, Silvestre, Maietta, Antonelli (Pasqual 69); Acquah, Traore (La Gumina 82), Bennacer; Krunic, Zajc (Salih Ucan 75); Caputo
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio (Barzagli 90), Bonucci, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic (Douglas Costa 80), Matuidi; Bernardeschi (Cuadrado 66), Dybala, Cristiano Ronaldo
Ref: Calvarese