Serie A: Juventus fall to Empoli in first game without Cristiano Ronaldo
- Leonardo Mancuso's first-half goal was enough for Empoli to claim a shock victory
- The visitors refused to sit back after the goal
- Ronaldo secured his return to former club Manchester United on Friday
Serie A giants Juventus received a jolt as the team slumped to a 1-0 loss at home to the newly promoted Empoli in what was the Old Lady’s first match without its talisman Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday.
Leonardo Mancuso's first-half goal was enough for the visitors to claim a shock victory and leave Juventus waiting for its first Italian league win of the season after two games. The Old Lady had opened the campaign with a disappointing 2-2 draw at Udinese last weekend.
Ronaldo secured his return to former club Manchester United on Friday — a day after telling Juventus he no longer wanted to play for the club. The Portuguese legend was the top scorer in Serie A for the last two seasons in a row. He scored a total of 101 goals in 134 appearances of Juventus.
Juventus could have done with him against Empoli, which only secured its return to Italy's top flight last season.
Mancuso scored in the 21st minute of the game, firing home from close range after Nedim Bajrami's initial effort was deflected into his path. The visitors refused to sit back after the goal.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reacted to the disappointing first half from his team by bringing on Alvaro Morata, a forward, for American midfielder Weston McKennie at the break.
Federico Bernardeschi came on for fellow midfielder Adrien Rabiot shortly afterward, but the visitors kept pushing.
Paulo Dybala had a couple of close efforts as the Old Lady showed signs of improvement, but too often the home team's moves broke down at the final pass, prompting a furious outburst from Allegri on the sideline.
Juventus' players were furious at the match officials when a number of calls went against them, including when Manuel Locatelli's ball for Morata was deflected out by an Empoli defender but no corner was awarded.
(With AP inputs)