Empoli seemed in complete control with Razvan Marin’s goal and assist, but Torino scored twice in four minutes and hit the woodwork twice in this 2-2 thriller.
This was a mid-table tussle between teams looking towards potential European qualification. The Tuscans were still giddy from their shock victory away to Inter, but Liam Henderson and Fabiano Parisi sat out bans, with Razvan Marin returning from his suspension, but Mattia Destro, Ardian Ismajli, Lorenzo Tonelli and Alberto Grassi still injured. Toro beat Milan and Fiorentina in recent weeks between Serie A and the Coppa Italia, around a home defeat to Spezia, so remained deeply unpredictable. Koffi Djidji and David Zima joined Pietro Pellegri and Valentin Lazaro on the absentee list.
Marin stung Vanja Milinkovic-Savic’s gloves with a snapshot from the edge of the D, but the deadlock was broken by Sebastiano Luperto’s glancing header at the near post on a Marin corner, which caught the goalkeeper somewhat stranded. It took him 87 appearances, but this was his debut Serie A goal.
Samuele Ricci thought he’d equalised against his former club on the hour mark with an acrobatic flying back-heel flick that beat the goalkeeper only to bounce off the far post. It was almost the goal of the season, very similar to the one Roberto Mancini scored for Lazio against Parma.
Guglielmo Vicario flew for a sensational save on Aleksei Miranchuk’s curler from 12 yards, then Ricci drilled inches wide of the near post.
However, Empoli doubled their lead with a sensational long-range Marin right-foot scorcher into the far top corner that gave Milinkovic-Savic no chance.
Ricci did get the goal eventually, as Perr Schuurs flicked on a Wilfried Singo pass with his back to goal and Ricci turned in from 12 yards, refusing to celebrate against his former club.
Incredibly, Toro completed the comeback moments later when Antonio Sanabria controlled on the edge of the D and curled left-footed into the far bottom corner for 2-2.
The Granata were pushing for a winner as Alessandro Buongiorno nodded a free kick over the bar and Vicario got down to beat away another Ricci daisy-cutter. On the resulting corner, Miranchuk’s trademark curler thumped the far upright.
Empoli 2-2 Torino
Luperto 37 (E), Marin 69 (E), Ricci 82 (T), Sanabria 86 (T)