Three takeaways from Empoli 0-2 Juventus: Danilo shows his reliability, Empoli miss Vicario

Juventus secured their second win of the Serie A season against Empoli with Danilo and Federico Chiesa showing their importance to the Bianconeri.

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Juventus took a bit of time to secure the victory, but they were able to leave the Stadio Carlo Castellani with all three points after beating Empoli 2-0 on Sunday evening in Matchday 3 of the Serie A season.

Danilo and Federico Chiesa found the back of the net for the Bianconeri, but Dusan Vlahovic had a penalty saved by Azzurri goalkeeper Etrit Berisha. Danilo also had a goal disallowed for a foul on Berisha while substitute Paul Pogba had one chalked off after Vlahovic was offside in the build-up.

After drawing against Bologna on Matchday 2, Juventus are back on the winner’s list, whereas Empoli sit at the bottom of the Serie A table with no points and little signs of improvement.

Danilo leads by example for Juventus

Danilo celebrates scoring for Juventus. (@juventusfcen)

Since his arrival at Juventus in 2019, Danilo has become a reliable performer in defence, and he has also contributed to the goals. The 2022/23 Serie A season was his best in Italy in terms of goal involvement, scoring three times and supplying another three assists.

The Bianconeri captain made an important contribution against Empoli after he had a goal correctly disallowed. He capitalised on a loose ball in the penalty area to score Juventus’ first goal after 24 minutes, made four clearances, and he made the most passes in the match, completing 64 of them at a success rate of 86%.

With all the members of the BBC backline of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, and Giorgio Chiellini gone, Danilo’s experience and effectiveness is more important than ever.

Chiesa displaying greater comfort as a forward

Federico Chiesa in action for Juventus. (@juventusfcen)

Injuries impacted the performances of Federico Chiesa in previous seasons with Juventus, but the 25-year-old is showing early signs that he can become a key player for the Bianconeri in 2023/24.

This season, Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri has made it clear that he wants Chiesa to play as a forward in an attacking duo with Vlahovic instead of a wing-back role, and the Italy international is benefitting from playing closer to the opposition goal. He has the pace and the skill to beat multiple opponents and can exchange passes with teammates.

He should have scored earlier in the second half with an individual effort that just skimmed the far post, but he got it right near the end, recovering from a slip to score from a tight angle. It was his second goal in three games, and Chiesa should build more momentum as the season progresses.

Empoli miss the reliability of Vicario

A couple of notable players departed from Empoli in the summer, but it is the absence of Guglielmo Vicario that is arguably impacting the Azzurri the most.

The 26-year-old was sold to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, and they have emerged as an early contender for the Premier League title under new coach Ange Postecoglou. Meanwhile, the Tuscans miss his ability to produce spectacular saves and endure waves of attacks from opponents.

New signing Elia Caprile played in the defeat to Hellas Verona in the opening round of the season, but he has been sidelined due to an ankle injury, whereas Samuele Perisan was in goal in the 2-0 loss to Monza the following week.

Berisha possesses greater Serie A experience than the other two, he did save a penalty from Vlahovic in the first half, and he might prove to be a safe choice as the season progresses. However, Vicario was both reliable and spectacular, producing saves that very few others can produce, and that could be the difference between Empoli surviving the drop or not.

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