Palermo 0-0 Empoli: Shooting boots missing as Rosanero and Azzurri share points
The Palermo players seemed to be missing their shooting boots on the day, taking numerous attempts on goal but rarely finding the target. Empoli, who were under a bit more pressure, attempted to respond but could not find the path to goal either.
Palermo blitzed Empoli from the start, with Paulo Dybala and Franco Vazquez combining early. The Argentine drew an early save from Luigi Sepe, which turned out to be one of the few interventions the Empoli goalkeeper would have to make during the game.
The first half turned out a bit of a shootout between both teams’ star forwards. Dybala and Vazquez were the main threats to Sepe in the opening 45 minutes. However Massimo Maccarone and Francesco Tavano did not shirk the challenge, bearing down on goal numerous times.
For all their attacking verve and positive intentions however, both sides seldom drew saves from either goalkeepers relative to the amount of shots they took. The first half thus finished scoreless, with the game still in the balance.
The second half resumed in very much the same manner as the first half had begun. Both teams kept attacking, with Maccarone and Dybala being the main protagonists for Empoli and Palermo respectively.
Still, neither team seemed to have remembered to change into their shooting boots during the break, consistently firing wide of the target.
Empoli were better — but only slightly — than Palermo when it came to possessing the ball. However, Palermo proved much more incisive on the counter (except when it came to finishing) as they created more dangerous situations than the visitors.
In the end, it seemed Empoli would settle for the point whereas Palermo chased the winning goal. The coaches different approaches illustrated that well via their final substitutions: Giuseppe Iachini brought on Andrea Belotti for defender Andrea Rispoli, while Sarri took off his most potent attacker Maccarone.
The game finally ended in a 0–0 draw, which was rich in attacking intent but grossly lacking in technical execution when it came to finishing.