After a three-year hiatus from Serie A, Empoli have wasted little time making an impression in their return to the top flight. Heading into today's round seven fixture, Aurelio Andreazzoli had the Azzurri punching above their weight class. With nine points through their first six matches, including a shocking upset over Juventus in round two, Empoli isn't your typical newly-promoted pushovers—a point they proved in the early stages of tonight's match at the Stadio Olimpico.
With Andrea Pinamonti leading the charge, Empoli held their own against José Mourinho and Roma, outshooting the Giallorossi through the opening 20 minutes despite ceding over two-thirds of the ball to the hosts. They weren't exactly eviscerating Roma's backline, but they were able to create moments of miniature havoc in the final third and came close to drawing first blood multiple times early in the first half.
The match began to loosen up after 30 minutes or so, after which Roma began to assert themselves, flexing their attacking muscles to put Empoli increasingly on the back heel. And once Lorenzo Pellegrini broke the deadlock in the 41st minute, the match was all Roma.
In case you missed any of the actions, please enjoy the highlights below. If you want a deeper look, here is the extended highlight package.