Date :Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 | Time : 03:21 |ID: 15386 | Print

Juventus Move Clear Ahead in Serie A Table After Win Against Empoli

SHAFAQNA – Juventus capitalised on Roma’s defeat to move three points clear at the top of Serie A with a 2-0 win over Empoli on Saturday.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side bounced back from Wednesday’s shock 1-0 loss at Genoa as Andrea Pirlo’s stunning free-kick and Alvaro Morata’s vicious strike sealed the victory in the second half.

With Roma having lost 2-0 at Napoli earlier in the day, the champions again have some breathing space over Rudi Garcia’s men.

In stark contrast, Empoli – who saw Lorenzo Tonelli dismissed in stoppage time – have only recorded one win in their 10 top-flight matches to leave them hovering just above the relegation zone.

Chances were few and far between for much of the first half, although Piotr Zielinski did manage to force a smart save out of Gianluigi Buffon from 12 yards after 20 minutes.

Despite having only kept one clean sheet in their last eight games in Serie A, Empoli’s defence remained resolute for much of the first period, with Juve’s best chance coming just after the half hour.

A powerful surging run from Morata allowed Arturo Vidal to latch onto the ball behind the home defence, but the Chilean could only pull his shot wide.

Vidal was the centre of proceedings again 10 minutes later, drawing a comfortable save from Davide Bassi with a low drive just outside the box, but the hosts continued to hold firm.

Juventus stepped up their urgency after the break, with Claudio Marchisio firing wide after Kwadwo Asamoah’s cross had been spilled.

And the visitors were celebrating just after the hour mark, when talismanic midfielder Pirlo stepped up to steer a stunning free-kick over the wall and into the net from 22 yards.

Massimo Maccarone forced a good save from Buffon three minutes later, but Juventus continued their momentum and added a second 11 minutes later.

A superb counter-attacking move saw substitute Carlos Tevez play in Morata, who curled home a powerful strike to seal the win and wrap up a hard-fought three points.

Tevez nearly got on the scoresheet himself six minutes from time, forcing a terrific save from Bassi with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

Tonelli was given his marching orders in the dying moments of the game, the defender hauling down Tevez, with Pirlo whistling the resulting free-kick just over the bar.

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