Juventus – Empoli Player Ratings: Mancuso Shocks the Old Lady

At the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Juventus hosted Empoli for their first Serie A home fixture of the season. What was expected to be a happy return for Massimiliano Allegri turned out to be quite the opposite. Following an abysmal performance from his stars, it was the visiting players who received a standing ovation from home crowd for the gutsy performance, as Leonardo Mancuso’s lone goal sealed a historic 1-0 win for the Blue club. So here are our player ratings for the shocking encounter between Juventus and Empoli.

Juventus XI

Wojciech Szczesny – 5.5

Although the Pole wasn’t the main culprit this time, he never inspired confidence for his defenders with his shaky clearances. He remains very far from his peak form.

Juan Cuadrado – 5.5

The Colombian failed to replicate his impressive performance from the opener, and struggled to cut his way through the Empoli crowd whilst leaving spaces behind him for his opponents to exploit.

Matthijs de Ligt – 6

Despite a shaky start, the former Ajax captain was one of the better performers for the Bianconeri in the second half, as he covered for some of his teammates’ mistakes.

Leonardo Bonucci – 6.5

The veteran marshalled the backline and made some key interceptions at vital moments. The result could have been even worse for the home side if it wasn’t for his contributions.

Alex Sandro – 5.5

The Brazilian was able to cut through Stojanovic on one occasion, forcing his opponent to commit a foul, but asides from it, his attacking contribution was non-existent. More importantly, he decided to run at the ball prior to Empoli’s goal, leaving Mancuso unmarked.

Danilo – 5.5

The battling Brazilian tried hard to make something going in his new Regista role, but he painfully lacks the the vision and the skills to pull it off. Struggled to deal with Bajrami as well.

Rodrigo Bentancur – 5

The former Boca Juniors man had an encouraging start – similar to the rest of the team – before inexplicably faltering out of the match. Lost the ball on some key occasions, and unfortunately left the pitch under a rain of boos from his own fans.

Adrien Rabiot – 5

Whatever we said about Bentancur can also be applied on the Frenchman who didn’t add anything for Juventus whenever they went forward. Failed to cover for Sandro’s mistake on Empoli’s goal.

Weston McKennie – 5.5

The American played as a false playmaker behind the strikers, and although he ran hard all over the pitch, he was never going to create anything in the final third. Allegri took him off at half time in favor of Morata, but perhaps he deserved to stay a little longer at the expense of either Bentancur or Rabiot.

Paulo Dybala – 5

The Argentine was deployed as a center forward during the first half, and struggled against the physically imposing defenders. He returned to his more familiar role in the second period, but looked too tired to get anything going at that point.

Federico Chiesa – 6.5

The Euro 2020 winner was Juve’s only dangerous player throughout the match. Tested Vicario on three occasions, and wowed the crowd with an incredible run through Empoli’s defenses. Left the pitch relatively early in the second period, perhaps because he still lacks full fitness.

Juventus Substitutes

Alvaro Morata – 5.5

The Spaniard tried to add depth to his team’s attacks, but the Bianconeri were already beginning to falter at that point.

Federico Bernardeschi – 5

The Italian winger ran aimlessly on the left wing and was booked for an intense argument with the referee.

Manuel Locatelli – 6

Displayed some heart and courage that were lacking in Juve’s midfield, but it wasn’t enough to make the difference.

Dejan Kulusevski – 6

A decent outing from the Swede who had a hand in some half-dangerous attempts. A slight improvement on some of his teammates.

Mattia De Sciglio – N/A

Empoli XI

Guiglielmo Vicario – 7.5

A big performance form the Italian goalkeeper who impressively denied Chiesa on three occasions during the first half. Surprisingly granted a much quieter second period thanks to Juve’s infertile plays.

Petar Stojanovic – 6.5

The Croatian put up a solid performance at the back against the likes of Sandro, Bernardeschi and Rabiot, even though he got booked for a tough challenge on Sandro.

Adrian Ismajli – 6.5

The Albanian had some nervous moments, but it was still an impressive display from his part.

Sebastiano Luperto – 7.5

A superb performance from the Napoli-owned defender, who frustrated Dybala throughout the match with one brilliant interception after another.

Riccardo Marchizza – 6.5

The former Roma left-back won most of his duels against his opponents, and helped his side in maintaining an unlikely clean sheet.

Nicolas Haas – 6.5

A good display from the Swiss midfielder who helped his side in winning the midfield battle.

Samuele Ricci – 6

The Italian Regista kept the ball rolling for the Tuscans and shielded the defense when needed.

Filippo Bandinelli – 7

An eye-opening performance from the relatively unknown Italian who contributed to the match’s lone goal with a fabulous run from the left flank. Put Cuadrado in all sort of trouble throughout the match.

Nedim Bajrami – 7

The young attacking midfielder is the main creative force behind the Serie B winning side. Caused trouble for Juventus with every touch of the ball.

Leonardo Mancuso – 7.5

The former Lecce man never quite received the recognition that he deserved during his time with the Southern club, and is once again showcasing his importance in Tuscany. Ran all over the pitch to meet his teammates’ long balls and launch counter attacks. Pounced on a debacle inside the box to score a real poacher’s goal.

Patrick Cutrone – 6

The former Milan youth product tried his luck with some shots without success, but still contributed to the win with his energetic performance.

Empoli Substitutes

Leo Stulac – N/A

Andrea Pinamonti – N/A

Liam Henderson – N/A

Szymon Zurkowski – N/A

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