1st leg results. Empoli 2 Juventus 0
Juventus with the aggregate must win 2 nil to tie and force Pks or any margin higher scoring than that to win outright.
Nedved, Iaquinta. An argument can be made for Tiago. Buffon, Del Piero, Trezegol not playing.
N/A (Vannuchi, honorable mention)
Notable game moments
3' - Nedved puts a great chip in and the resultant cross is broken up.
4' - Marchioni receives a cross on his chest, finds some wheels into the box, cuts his defender at full speed and buries it left footed middle left side netting. 1-0 Juventus. At first the cut didn't look graceful as the defender got a little piece, but the slow motion showed how Marchioni was clever to get the cut off at all. Well done sir.
The boys look much better than they did already against Catalina (drew 1-1). I wish I had typed that before the goal, but still.
10' - Marchioni (again, hmmm) with a low cross in. Keeper misplays the cross outside the six, deflection to the middle of the top of the box where Pavel's long blonde locks of love wait to place it in. 2-0 Juventus.
It's weird to think, but it's almost too early to announce that the rout is on because they're on pace to finish 18-0. With all the corruption recently surrounding Italian soccer, I'm praying that doesn't happen.
15' - I just noticed the stands. It looks like a Florida Marlins game in June
17' - Pavel gets a ball dropped back and blasts it wide (nog).
21' - Corner kick Juve. Nedved contested header caught.
25' - Top of the box, an Empolian rips a volley from a cross one-time right into the keeper. Anywhere else and it's on Sportscenter.
26' - Marchioni (hmmmm) heel flicks in the box to Tiago running on. First touch is heavy and the shot is suffocated by the out-coming keeper. Good save.
28' - Camera shows three Italians and they are visibly soaking wet. I know it's not raining but I actually wondered for a moment.
30' - Marchioni (clearly feeling snubbed by me) crosses in to a diving header by Iaquinta (nog).
33' - Fudge. Antonini slides and buries a cross just inside the near post. No chance for the keeper or defender, fantastic cross. 2-1 Juventus still.
36' - Jeff walks in, sees the replay and asks, "Is it raining?" Not making that up.
38' - Antonini, 4 on 3, screws it up. No threat in the end.
40' - Pavel with speed, splits three dudes and is dragged down 5 meters outside the box. Free-kick hits wall.
44' - Marchioni (alright already!) crosses to Pavel's feet. He was running free and his shot his blocked. Rebound bounces around and eventually Pavel pokes it over onto the top of the net. He seems upset about the missed opportunity.
46' - F*&^!! Empolian crosses at the flag to another effing Empolian who elevates and heads it past the goalie. 2-2 Empoli. Recall Buffon is not starting and other-guy couldn't make up his mind. A good header, but it should have never gotten to him.
Half. To say it was entertaining is to sell it short. Effing hell though, Juve looks (and empirically so) weak through the air. The announcers indicated earlier that Treze-answer is available as a sub. We'll see if he comes in. This is getting long so for the second half I'll just summarize goal scoring plays and the half in general. This is supposed to be shorter, but we'll see. As you can read above, Juve has had more chances, many more in fact, so the final should be 4-2 good guys. Marchionni's first half earned him this picture of him.
50' - Holla! Iaquinta from a quick restart on a free kick rips a bouncing ball cross body and cross defender past the goalie far post. 3-2 Juventus
52' - Omfg. 3-3 Empoli. Recall Juventus needs to win by 2 goals to avoid elimination. We lost 2 nil earlier. As you can see the events of this 2nd leg are ridiculous. Eff.
61' - Iaquinta! Iaquinta! Iaquinta! Bouncing ball from a corner, he tucks away the rebound. I think I'm going to have a heart attack. The small crowd suddenly seems 80-strong singing and yelling wildly. The laptop is no longer on my lap for fear of breaking it.
63' - Header just wide. An amazing chance. Trezeguet is likely not coming on say the announcers... we'll see. If this crowd stays in it til the 80th and starts chanting his name, tell me again he's not coming in. He's not hurt.
65' - Del Piero. The captain. The genius. That Fire jogs onto the pitch to a roar from the crowd.
77' - PENALTY. Iaquinta cuts his man just inside the top of the box (after a great play by Nedved with speed), pulls back about to kill the hopes and dreams of every Empolian and gets tripped. THAT FIRE! finishes easily 5-3 Juventus. Holy crap. I need a moment. They lead 6-5 on aggregate now. Empoli must score or they're eliminated. The announcer exclaims that this is the best match he's called. I believe him.
83' - Giveaway from Empoli, Del Piero all alone with the keeper. He tries. to chip. the keeper. nog. I really, really hope that doesn't come back to burn.
4 minutes of stoppage...
There it is! The final whistle! Juventus is through to the quarters. My goodness.
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.