Soccer-Juventus slump to 4-1 defeat at Empoli after points deduction

Soccer Football - Serie A - Empoli v Juventus - Stadio Carlo Castellani, Empoli, Italy - May 22, 2023 General view during a minutes silence before the match for the victims of the floods in Emilia-Romagna REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

EMPOLI, Italy (Reuters) -Juventus were handed a crushing 4-1 defeat at lowly Empoli in Serie A on Monday after they were docked 10 points in a new ruling over their transfer dealings, which makes it unlikely they will qualify for the Champions League.

Two goals by Francesco Caputo and a strike from Sebastiano Luperto made it 3-0 for Empoli just after halftime before Federico Chiesa pulled a goal back for Juve five minutes from time and Roberto Piccoli sealed Empoli's win in stoppage time.

Juve, who learned about the new verdict shortly before kick-off, dropped from second to seventh following the points deduction.

They are on 59 points, one behind AS Roma who occupy the final European qualifying place in sixth and five adrift of fourth-placed AC Milan with two games left.

"Summing up a season in an evening like this is an understatement," said Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri. "It was a strange situation, 10 minutes before the match the sentence came out.

"Juventus are used to winning, we have to close ranks. There are six points up for grabs and Milan arrive on Sunday."

Arkadiusz Milik hit the crossbar following a corner in Juve's intense start to the game and Federico Gatti had a goal ruled out in a follow-up due to a foul in the build-up.

But things went downhill from there for Juventus as Empoli were awarded a penalty for Milik's foul on Nicolo Cambiaghi and striker Caputo converted from the spot to put the hosts in front in the 18th minute.

It was 2-0 three minutes later when defender Luperto doubled Empoli's lead following a corner as he struck into the roof of the net on a rebound.

While first-half chances from Dusan Vlahovic and Gleison Bremer did not cut the deficit for Juve, Empoli continued to show greater determination after the break and added another goal two minutes into the second period.

Midfielder Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro went on a solo run and squared the ball to Caputo who made it 3-0 with a chipped finish.

Juventus put an end to their failings in front of goal when halftime substitute Chiesa pulled a goal back with a low strike five minutes from time in his 200th appearance in Serie A.

But it was too little too late for powerless Juventus who conceded again in stoppage time when forward Piccoli moved easily past three Juve defenders to seal the win.

Juventus, who were knocked out in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday by Sevilla following a 3-2 aggregate loss, previously won all five away matches against Empoli under Allegri.

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar)

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