Mario Mandzukic: Striker inspires Juventus to easy Empoli win

Posted on Feb 27 2017 - 12:48am by admin

Juventus' forward Mario Mandzukic looks at the ball after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Jagainst Empoli on February 25, 2017

Juventus moved 10 points clear of closest challengers Roma beforehand of their visit to Inter Milan.

Mario Mandzukic overcame a wasteful first half to encourage Juventus to a 2-0 dwelling win over Empoli that edged the Turin giants closer to a document sixth straight Serie A title.

Juventus, claiming their twenty second win in 26 video games, moved 10 factors clear of closest challengers Roma in advance of their seek advice from to Inter Milan late on Sunday.

Napoli stay third but at the moment are 12 points off the p.c. after a shock 2-zero defeat at dwelling to Atalanta nearly ended their hopes of difficult for a protracted-awaited scudetto.

A Roma defeat on the San Siro would ship a big blow to their scudetto hopes, but Juventus teach Massimiliano Allegri mentioned nothing is won but.

"absolutely now not," he mentioned when asked if Juve had one hand on the title. "Roma may be seven points at the back of us via tomorrow, we nonetheless have a variety of video games to play, Napoli could get to ninety factors and Roma ninety five.

"We wish to win quite a few video games and tonight, towards Empoli, wasn’t so easy. It took us unless the second half of to interrupt the impasse."

Juventus are also difficult for a 3rd consecutive league and cup double and Allegri underlined those ambitions by resting a few players for Tuesday’s semi-ultimate first leg with Napoli.

The ‘keeper’s gloves went to Brazilian Norberto Neto after Gianluigi Buffon used to be rested, whereas Dani Alves and Daniele Rugani stepped in for veteran defenders Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini, each on the bench.

Argentine playmaker Paulo Dybala also started on the bench but given Empoli’s depressing document at Juventus Stadium there used to be little to signify Allegri’s selections would backfire.

yet Empoli had been a tricky nut to crack in a balanced opening half that saw numerous home possibilities, most through Mandzukic, go amiss.

After simply 5 minutes Gonzalo Higuain prodded a Mandzukic knock-down straight at Lukasz Skorupski within the Empoli internet from six yards.

Mandzukic then slid in on the again post most effective to direct Juan Cuadrado’s deflected shot vast and on the counter Omar El Kaddouri spurned a really perfect likelihood for the guests.

The Croat Mandzukic should have executed better after operating on to Higuain’s excellent pass, however hesitated on a one-on-one with Skorupski and allowed defenders to trace back.

Mandzukic used to be at full stretch to fulfill any other nice move from Higuain at the back publish, but did higher minutes after the interval when he rose excessive above the Empoli defence to fulfill Cuadrado’s weighted delivery.

His powerful header beat Skorupski, smacked off the underside of the crossbar and eventually cleared the line after bouncing again off the splayed ‘keeper and into the web for a 52nd minute personal purpose.

Former Barcelona superstar Alves hit Juve’s second in Porto remaining Wednesday when he coolly chested down Alex Sandro’s go to beat Iker Casillas.

The Brazilian lower back the favour for his countryman in the sixty fifth minute. Sandro used to be left unmarked on the left side of the world in the 65th minute to pivot round his marker and beat Skorupski with a low angled pressure at his some distance put up.

prior, a brace from Juventus-certain Mattia Caldara torpedoed Napoli’s scudetto hopes as 10-man Atalanta underlined their rising Euro ambitions popular with a shock 2-0 win at the San Paolo.

Napoli welcomed excessive-flying Atalanta looking to tighten their grip on the third and final Champions League qualifying spot.

however not up to per week after suffering a three-1 defeat to actual Madrid within the competition, Maurizio Sarri’s males noticed a 14-recreation unbeaten streak ended by means of their 2nd successive league defeat to Gian Piero Gasperini’s males.

Atalanta’s 16th win moved the Bergamo side as much as fourth, beforehand of Inter Milan ahead of they welcome Roma to the San Siro.

but instruct Gian Piero Gasperini played down hopes of seeking to qualify for the Champions League: "we now have already targeted a place in the Europa League."

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