Casa Calcio: Juventus comeback breaks Empoli hearts

Lisa Boattin of Juventus celebrates with her teammates after scoring.
Lisa Boattin of Juventus celebrates after scoring during her side's Coppa Italia match against Empoli on 30 January 2021. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Despite the home side twice taking a two-goal lead, it’s Juventus who grab a 4-5 comeback win in Tuscany. It was the first leg in the two sides’ Coppa Italia quarter-final.

How the teams lined up

Empoli: Fedele, Di Guglielmo, Brscic, Giatras, De Rita, Cinotti, Bellucci, Prugna, Dompig, Polli, Glionna

Juventus: Bačić; Lundorf, Gama, Salvai, Boattin; Rosucci, Pedersen, Zamanian; Maria Alves, Staskova, Bonansea

First half

It was Juventus who had the early chances in this game. Andrea Staskova and Barbara Bonansea both had attempts in the opening quarter of an hour.

After weathering the early storm, it was Empoli who took the lead. In the 37th minute, Benedetta Glionna stuck a curling free-kick in the back of the Juve net. Glionna is on loan from Juventus this season, and was obviously very keen to impress.

However, that lead lasted just four minutes. Lisa Boattin’s run on the left ended with a powerful shot finding the roof of the Empoli net.

Right before half-time, the home side took the lead once again. Another free-kick courtesy of Glionna beat Doris Bačić in the Juve goal. The two sides went into the break with Empoli up 2-1.

Second half

Glionna hat-trick

Just four minutes after the break, Empoli stretched their lead. Yet again, it was a Glionna set piece that Bačić couldn’t hold on to.

Boattin then tried her luck from a Juventus free-kick, but Noemi Fedele managed to push it away to safety.

As Juventus pushed hard for a second goal, that pressure was rewarded when Annahita Zamanian sent the ball over Fedele from a Boattin pass.

Dompig delight

If anyone thought that Empoli would crumble at this stage they were sorely mistaken. They again took a two-goal lead, the only surprise being that it wasn’t Glionna this time. Chanté Dompig putting away the rebound after Bačić had saved her initial effort.

Embed from Getty Images

With 15 minutes left to play, we waited to see if Juventus could salvage something from this game. Another away goal would at least be an advantage to take home for the return leg.

Crazy comeback

In the end, the Coppa holders and Serie A leaders scored three goals without reply to claim what had seemed an unlikely win.

Embed from Getty Images

Two minutes after the last Empoli goal, Andrea Stašková grabbed a goal back from a corner. After that, a minute passed and Juventus were level. The Serie A top-scorer, Cristiana Girelli had been sent on ten minutes earlier. That change paid off when she headed home to make it 4-4.

Salvai saviour

With just two minutes left to play, the away side’s comeback was complete. Another sub, Valentina Cernoia, floated a free-kick into the box and Cecilia Salvai headed it past Fedele.

Next time

It was a real heartbreaking result for Empoli. Juventus showed their class in the end, but they’ll know not to take their challengers for granted when the sides meet for the return leg. They’ll certainly be wary about giving away any free-kicks with Glionna around.