SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 22 - 2 Feb 2019 (14.00 UK)
2 - 2
Giaccherini 31 (C), Stepinski 45+1 (C), Caputo 45+2, 51 (E)
Stadio Carlo Castellani

Empoli fought back from a 2-0 deficit to take a point off Chievo thanks to the Francesco Caputo brace in this relegation battle.

This was a relegation dogfight and the Tuscans needed a boost after one point from their previous six rounds, so threw new signing Diego Farias straight into the starting XI, but Antonino La Gumina and Leonardo Capezzi missed out. The Flying Donkeys were unlucky to lose 4-3 with Fiorentina last week and left deadline day buys Lucas Piazon, Ezequiel Schelotto and Assane Diousse on the bench.

It was all Empoli early doors and they had a triple opportunity to take the lead on nine minutes. Rade Krunic burst into the box and forced a one-handed save from Stefano Sorrentino, Mattia Bani’s decisive tackle stopped Francesco Caputo tapping in the rebound and Hamed Junior Traore’s follow-up was smothered.

Sorrentino made a desperate save to stop Farias rapping in a Giovanni Di Lorenzo cross at the base of the near post, but Chievo lost captain Sergio Pellissier to a muscular problem.

However, Jacob Rasmussen’s terrible horizontal pass was intercepted by substitute Filip Djordjevic and Emanuele Giaccherini smashed his finish into the near top corner to give Chievo the lead.

Empoli could’ve equalised just before half-time, but Caputo and Farias both went for a corner at the back post and got into a tangle.

Instead, Chievo doubled their lead, as a corner was not dealt with effectively and fell for Mariusz Stepinski’s half-volley into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

However, 75 seconds later Empoli had one back, with Caputo ready to tap in at the back post on a Giovanni Di Lorenzo ball rolled across the six-yard box.

It was almost 2-2 straight after the restart, as a corner ricocheted into the path of Di Lorenzo to toe-poke inches wide of the far post.

The equaliser did arrive moments later with route one football, as Provedel’s long kick surprised Perparim Hetemaj and Caputo kept his cool to dribble round the on-rushing goalkeeper, depositing into the empty net despite Jaroszynski’s attempt to clear off the line.

Dimitri Oberlin and Assane Diousse made their debuts, but Stepinski volleyed over on a Jaroszynski cross from the left and Provedel had to flap away an in-swinging Giaccherini corner.

Nicola Rigoni only glanced his head to a Federico Barba corner and couldn’t keep it on target from close range.

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: Provedel; Veseli, Silvestre, Rasmussen; Di Lorenzo, Traore, Bennacer, Krunic (Mchedlidze 82), Pasqual; Farias (Oberlin 58), Caputo
: Sorrentino; Jaroszynski (Frey 83), Bani, Rossettini, Barba; Kiyine (Diousse 58), Rigoni, Hetemaj; Giaccherini; Stepinski, Pellissier (Djordjevic 29)
Ref: Di Bello