Juventus have temporarily leapt up to seventh in the Serie A table after defeating Empoli 4-0 at the Allianz Stadium on Friday evening.
The Bianconeri took an early lead through Moise Kean while Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot with a brace added the others after the break.
Although Empoli dominated possession throughout the Matchday 11 encounter, Juventus were a constant danger on the counter-attack and could have won by a more comprehensive scoreline if it was not for the saves of Guglielmo Vicario.
Kean and McKennie inspire Bianconeri triumph
Juventus were on the attack from the first whistle while Empoli left gaps at the back. It took the Bianconeri just eight minutes to take the lead when Filip Kostic produced a low cross from the left wing and Kean was able to divert the ball into the net.
Kean as well as McKennie had opportunities to increase the lead in the first half but that was prevented due to a combination of good goalkeeping from Vicario and inaccurate shooting.
Despite Empoli’s spells of possession, the best chances fell to Mattia Destro, who forced saves out of Wojciech Szczesny in the Juve goal.
McKennie got a much-deserved goal in the 56th minute when Juan Cuadrado took a corner from the right and the American midfielder rose above everyone else to head the ball into the net.
Kean thought he made it 3-0 but a VAR decision correctly ruled him offside. However, Rabiot sealed the result when another Cuadrado corner, this time from the right, found the head of the Frenchman and the ball crossed the line despite the efforts of Vicario to keep it out.
Rabiot added a fourth in stoppage time when Brazilian defender Danilo supplied a low cross from the right and the Frenchman tapped in at the back post.
Wing play and set pieces decisive for Juventus
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri implemented the 3-5-2 formation with Cuadrado and Kostic operating as the wing-backs, and their contribution was vital to the victory against Empoli.
It was Kostic’s cross that set Kean up for the opener and that combination worked again when Kean found the back of the net for the second time, but VAR put a stop to that. The Serbian nevertheless supplied his share of crosses and he is slowly adapting to the tactical nuances of Italian football.
Cuadrado worked hard in open play, but his delivery from corners was superb, as highlighted by his assists for McKennie and the first Rabiot goal.
Empoli failed to deal with corners as well as crosses around the back of the defence and Danilo was able to play the ball between the goalkeeper and defenders for Rabiot to seal the win.