Ten-man Juve's title bid falters with Empoli draw

AFP , Saturday 27 Jan 2024

Juventus' bid for a first Serie A title in four years hit a stumbling block on Sunday after Empoli snatched a 1-1 draw from their 10-man hosts.

Juventus Serbian forward #09 Dusan Vlahovic scores the team s first goal during the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Empoli, at The Allianz Stadium, in Turin on January 27, 2024. AFP


Tommaso Baldanzi stunned the Allianz Stadium in the 70th minute of a stodgy encounter with Scudetto pretenders Juve, who missed the chance to move four points clear of closest rivals Inter Milan.

Instead the league lead for Juve stands at two, meaning that Inter, who have two games in hand, will reclaim top spot if they win at fifth-placed Fiorentina on Sunday.

Massimiliano Allegri's side had to play over three quarters of the match a man down after Arkadiusz Milik was sent off in the 18th minute for a clumsy and dangerous foul on Alberto Cerri.

Juve thought they were on course to secure the points when Dusan Vlahovic poked them ahead four minutes after half-time following chaos at a corner.

That was the Serbia striker's sixth goal in all competitions for Juve since the turn of the year.

But it wasn't enough for the win as Baldanzi, who is rumoured to be leaving for Roma before the end of the winter transfer window, rolled home the leveller through a sea of legs.

The draw wasn't enough to pull Empoli out of the relegation zone as Davide Nicola's team are in 19th place on 17 points, a point behind Cagliari and Udinese who sit just above the relegation zone.

Udinese stay within reach of Empoli after being beaten 2-0 at Atalanta, their fourth defeat in as many league matches which allowed their hosts to move into the Champions League places.

Aleksei Miranchuk and Gianluca Scamacca netted the decisive goals in the first half in Bergamo to push Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta two points above Fiorentina and into Italy's top four.

AC Milan, who sit third, complete the day's fixtures with a home clash with this season's surprise package Bologna.

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