Juventus maintains perfect start with dominant victory over Empoli

    Juventus continued their unbeaten start to the Serie A season by beating Empoli 2-0.

    Danilo gave the visitors the lead in the 24th minute, while Federico Chiesa secured the points late in the second period after Dusan Vlahovic saw a first-half botched penalty saved by debutant Etrit Berisha.

    The win took Juventus to third in the table, two points behind Inter and Milan, while Empoli have now failed to score in any of their three league games this season after relegated from Coppa Italia to Serie B “Cittadella”.

    Vlahović fired the first shot on target in the seventh minute, but his right foot went to the near post on Berisha’s second try, and a few moments later Jacopo Fazzini hit high and wide of the goal at the other end of the pitch.

    Danilo thought he opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he took a shot from close range, but was penalized for blocking the goalkeeper as Empoli struggled to clear a corner.

    Vlahović then landed a glancing header wide of the post as the home team again found it difficult to clear their lines, a weakness that cost dearly in the 24th minute when Danilo put the visitors ahead.

    Danilo’s initial kick from a left corner was inadvertently blocked by teammate Federico Gatti, but the ball went back to the Brazilian defender, who made no mistake with an eight-yard side kick.

    Juventus then had numerous chances to double their lead, with a botched shot from Vlahovic going to Chiesa’s advantage to set up Weston McKenny, but his right footed shot was deflected wide.

    Vlahovic himself then shot wide, but missed a great opportunity to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Yusef Malech cut Gatti in the box.

    Vlahović scored a penalty in the win over Udinese on the first day of the match, but his left foot shot lacked power and Berisha saved it with his feet when he actually dived wide of the ball.

    Juventus continued to dominate the game after the break, with Chiesa hitting inches at the hour mark after driving the ball through the legs of Sebastian Valukevich and charging into the box.

    Substitute Paul Pogba then appeared to double his team’s lead just four minutes into the pitch, but his delightful volley was ruled out by Vlahovic being offside in preparation for the game.

    The overdue second goal was finally scored with eight minutes left in time as Chiesa rushed towards a splitting pass from Arkadiusz Milik, but Berisha cut him off as he passed the goalkeeper, but quickly got to his feet and switched the ball to his right foot before inserting it into an empty network.

    Milik still had time to head the crossbar from Timothy Weah’s cross and Moise Keane still had time to hit the post from outside the area, but those two goals were more than enough for a dominant victory.

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