Juventus looked somewhat ‘rejuvenated’ tonight as they swept aside Empoli 4-0 in Turin. The four goals came from Moise Kean, Weston McKennie and a brace for Adrien Rabiot, but the Bianconeri could have easily had another four on top of that were it not for profligate finishing and VAR offside reviews.
With a big game coming up on Tuesday and further progress into the knockout rounds of the Champions League at stake at Benfica, Massimiliano Allegri’s side ran rampant throughout tonight’s fixture.
Speaking after the game, Allegri was pleased by the team performance.
“We are looking a bit more like a team now. We started well this season, then got a week completely wrong and that is what’s holding us back in Serie A, so we need to recover that gap.
“It was not easy, as for 60 minutes Empoli really make you suffer, they press and pass constantly, we could’ve doubled our lead and also risked an equaliser. Then in the second half we stepped up a gear, Empoli fell away a bit, and it became a very entertaining match with lots of chances.
“We are improving, the fact the team kept a different tempo after the break shows our fitness levels are improving. We worked well in training, now on Tuesday we have a big game and must go to overturn this result.”
Kean looked particularly lively during this game and not only scored his first goal this season, but could have had a hat-trick as well.
“There was a moment when Kean was struggling, but he got back in shape, above all psychologically. He had lots of chances against Torino, many more this evening. Strikers are like that, in fact I told Milik tonight, he needs to be calm and not so desperate to score, as that is what leads him to waste clear chances.”
The Bianconeri once again were in a 3-5-2 formation with Filip Kostic and Juan Cuadrado playing out wide.
“It’s natural that with Cuadrado and Kostic on the wings, we need to make the most of them, especially as Empoli play very tight and we needed to spread their defence a bit.
“I think we didn’t pass it around enough down the right in the first half, as McKennie has a good engine, but his characteristics aren’t so much in creating moves. We did better after the break.”
Summer signing Leandro Paredes was not in the starting lineup once again, what is his future with the Bianconeri?
“Leandro was not in great physical shape when he arrived, but he played six games because we had Locatelli and Rabiot injured. He came on tonight when we needed quality, technique and the tempo had dropped a bit. I explained all that to him last night.
“In these games, we need one of the three-man midfield to be more defensive and physical, so Locatelli fulfilled that role.”