Andrea Colpani Steals Show as Monza East Past Empoli

Andrea Colpani embraced the spotlight at the Stadio Brianteo on Saturday night to inspire Monza to a 2-0 home victory over Empoli. Both sides headed into round two looking to recover from scoreless showings on the opening weekend. 

Monza came into proceedings seeking first points in 2022/23 following a 2-0 loss at Inter on the opening weekend. Likewise, visiting Empoli hoped to bounce back from a lackluster 1-0 home defeat to last season’s relegation fighters Hellas Verona. 

With both managers unwilling to give too much away from the get-go, first-half chances were at a premium. But Monza found a way to take the lead in an otherwise scrappy first half as Colpani came up with a moment of brilliance on the stroke of halftime. 

After receiving a precise pass from Samuele Birindelli on the edge of the box, the 24-year-old forward left Empoli goalkeeper Samuele Perisan powerless with a delightful finish. Getting off the mark late in the first half helped Raffaele Palladino’s side start the second half in a buoyant mood.

Only eight minutes into the second half, Colpani doubled Monza’s lead with another sublime goal. He outjumped his marker to get his towering header on the end of Patrick Ciurria’s cross and put the home team into a cruising lead. There was never a way back into this fixture for Paolo Zanetti’s strugglers.

Despite making four substitutions in the follow-up, the Empoli boss oversaw another clueless attacking performance from his men. Zanetti will have just over a week to prepare his side for Juvnetus’ visit to the Stadio Carlo Castellani. 

Empoli stunned the record-time Italian champions with a historic 4-1 home win last season. But whether this out-of-sorts Gli Azzurri side has what it takes to pull off another upset is open for debate. 

Meanwhile, Monza will travel to Bergamo next week to take on Atalanta, who shockingly succumbed to a 2-1 loss at newly-promoted Frosinone today.

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