It was nothing short of a lackluster outing for the Allegri-led Juventus side in Turin. It was a Shock defeat for Old Ladies when newly-promoted side Empoli defeated them on Saturday night by a Lone goal at the Allianz Stadium.
The defeat came after a day that their goal poacher, Portuguese international, Cristiano Ronaldo waved goodbye to the club after spending 3 years with them.
He signed for the Italian club in the 2018 season from Real Madrid for €100 million and went on to score 101 goals in 131 appearances for the Turin-based club.
Juventus’ first game against Udinese this season ended unfavorably, they were leading by 2 goals before the home side Udinese rescued a draw from the jaw of defeat. The encounter ended 2 all but the focal point of the game was how the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled out a last-minute goal by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The shock defeat to Empoli was the first for Juventus since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure was announced and in Massimiliano Allegri’s second stint.
Leonardo Mancuso’s goal for Empoli was enough to sink Juventus on the night. He further rubbed salt on the wound of Max Allegri second coming to the Seria A and make his side winless so far in this campaign.
Federico Chiesa’s efforts and wide range shots all proved abortive and the host’s performances generally were not enough on the night to overturn the deficit from Empoli captain Leonardo Mancuso when he swept the ball into the net of Juventus in the 21st minute of the game.
After the first half of the game, Juventus’ gaffer Massimiliano Allegri brought in fresh legs, Alvaro Morata, Dejan Kulusevski, and the new addition from Sassuolo, Manuel Locatelli from the bench but the firepower introduced combined with those on the pitch could not change the fortunes of the game for the home side.
It can be recalled that Empoli were promoted to Italy’s top flight after two seasons in Serie B. The team located in Central Italy, who have been moving back and forth from Serie A to Serie B in recent years, got their promotion after a hard-fought run of games in Italy’s second-tier league.
The club were regarded as the most solid team in Serie B by miles last season. According to records, they only lost two matches in Serie B. Their defensive solidity was top-notch throughout their campaign and they conceded just 32 goals.
They were also the top-scoring team with 66 goals. Their resilience and diehard spirit earned them their promotion to the Italy top flight, Serie A.
With the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to England, Juventus are in dire need of a replacement if they’re to have a claim to the league title this season. Lots of attackers are being linked to fill the void left behind by him.
One of the players is Moise Kean. He’s reportedly their preferred candidate to take Cristiano Ronaldo’s place at Juventus. The Everton striker is being persuaded to return to the Bianconeri after the Toffees had signed him from them in 2019.
He came through the youth system at Juventus and had once played for the senior team before he left for the Premier League and is deemed capable of fitting in effortlessly.
The 21-year-old had played under La Vecchia Signora tactician Massimiliano Allegri during his first stint with the club. So, he is not a stranger to the system and the coach’s tactical methods.
Another candidate linked is Paris Saint-Germain frontman, Mauro Icardi. The former Inter Milan man is no stranger to the league. His seven-year stay with Inter Milan easily passes for enough experience to convince the Bianconeri.
PSG’s recent acquisition of six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi from Barcelona would further stunt Icardi’s playing chances under Mauricio Pochettino. Last season, he was able to play 11 Ligue 1 matches in the overall games of the 2020/21 season.
If he truly wants more playing time, moving out of PSG would be the ideal decision. Juventus’ interest in the Argentine was way back when he was firing on all cylinders for inter Milan but they couldn’t secure his services due to different circumstances.
Icardi still has a contract with PSG until the summer of 2024. He earns €10m a season at the Parc des Princes and this is way lower than what the Portuguese international earned in Turin.
For Juventus to get their man, it would take a huge and sizeable amount of transfer money to cart him away. In 2019, PSG paid a whopping €70m to get him and it won’t be out of place if Juventus demand a relatively huge amount in that region.
Juventus cannot afford to let their current dip in form and lack of firepower upfront tarry without proffering solutions before the transfer window closes in three days.