Juve’s post-Ronaldo era starts with shock loss

Lacklustre Juventus began life without Cristiano Ronaldo by suffering a shock 1-0 defeat at home to promoted Empoli in Serie A on Saturday.

Juve, who this week agreed a deal with Manchester United to transfer Ronaldo to the Premier League club, looked shorn of ideas up front in the Portuguese forward’s absence.

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Other than some fierce Federico Chiesa strikes from range, the hosts did not threaten to score in the first half as Empoli edged into a surprise lead when captain Leonardo Mancuso swept the ball home at the far post in the 21st minute.

After the break, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri introduced Alvaro Morata, Dejan Kulusevski and new signing Manuel Locatelli from the bench but, even with all that firepower on the pitch, they created few openings of note.

Empoli saw out their first win back in the Italian top flight in relative comfort, leaving Juve on one point from their opening two matches of the season.