Coppa Italia: Fourth Round / Team rating: 3 / Top scorer: Mchedlidze (6) / Europe: N/A
The Castellani outfit were unable to retain a number of the loan players who lead them to a 10th-place finish last season and struggled to find adequate replacements. A mid-table spot was the initial expectation, but it become apparent very quickly that it should instead be survival – something they could not manage.
The Azzurri really struggled to string a run of form together. It took them three rounds to pick up their first victory and their second did not come for another nine after that. Empoli’s only real spell of form came between mid-April and mid-May, when they picked up 10 from a possible 15 points, suddenly motivated by Crotone’s resurgence.
Going in to the final game of the season, Empoli had a point advantage over Crotone, who occupied the final relegation place. The Tuscans just needed to defeat already-relegated Palermo, who had just five wins to their name all season, to decide their own future. Otherwise, anything but a Crotone victory saw Empoli safe. Crotone breezed past Lazio 3-1, while incredulous Empoli lost 2-1 in Palermo. All season they tried to do the bare minimum and ultimately it just wasn’t enough.
When celebrating back-to-back wins away to Fiorentina and Milan, surely that is the sign of a team that will stay in Serie A? Apparently not, as the shock victories in the closing weeks only lulled them into a false sense of security.
It's the ultimate nightmare for fans on the final day of the season. You know the future is in your hands, a win against an already-relegated and unmotivated side will render Crotone's result irrelevant. Not only were Empoli unable to get the victory in Sicily, they went 2-0 down and ultimately lost. In these circumstances, few could argue with the fact they deserved to go down.
- Empoli failed to find the net in 20 of their 38 games this season, a league worst.
- Edin Dzeko scored as many goals as the entire Empoli team put together: 29.
- The Tuscans set a new club record of seven consecutive defeats.