Juventus loses at home to Empoli in 1st game after Ronaldo
ROME (AP) — Juventus slumped to a 1-0 loss at home to promoted Empoli in its first match without 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. Juve opened with a disappointing 2-2 draw at Udinese last weekend.
Ronaldo secured his return to Manchester United on Friday — a day after telling Juventus he no longer wanted to play for the club. The Portugal star was top scorer in Serie A for the last two seasons and scored 101 goals in 134 appearances.
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, 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 a 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 Juve 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 incensed 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.
IMMOBILE’S HAT TRICK
Italy striker Ciro Immobile scored a first-half hat trick and saw his penalty saved as Lazio routed Spezia 6-1 to build on its opening victory.
The 31-year-old Immobile also scored in Lazio’s 3-1 win at Empoli to start the season last weekend.
Spezia forward Daniele Verde stunned home fans at the Stadio Olimpico when he scored on a rebound in the fourth minute, but Immobile equalized with a brilliant finish a minute later.
Immobile tucked away his second goal inside the left post in the 15th, but had a penalty saved in first-half injury time when Dutch goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet turned the ball away for a corner. That was all Immobile needed, however, as he scored with a header from Luis Alberto’s corner.
Brazilian forward Felipe Anderson made it 4-1 after the interval, and it got worse in the 54th for the visitors when Kelvin Amian was sent off for hauling back Anderson as he was on another attack.
Elseid Hysaj got the fifth goal in the 70th before Luis Alberto wrapped up the scoring in the 85th for Maurizio Sarri’s team.
Also Saturday, Atalanta missed a host of chances as it drew with Bologna 0-0.
Fiorentina beat Torino 2-1 at home.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports