Fiorentina used first Viola goals from Haris Seferovic and Ahmed Hegazy to move on past Serie B side Juve Stabia in the Coppa Italia and will face Udinese on Wednesday, December 19 at the Stadio Friuli.
Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montello used today's Coppa Italia match to get some bench players out on the pitch and some of the starters some rest.
Neto started in goal, with Giulio Migliaccio, Ahmed Hegazy and Nenad Tomovic in defense. Mattia Cassani, Romulo, David Pizarro, Matias Fernandez and Cristian Llama made up the Midfield with Haris Seferovic and Mounir El Hamdaoui up front.
Adem Ljajic had been picked to start the match, but he picked up a thigh injury in practice and will be out 15 to 20 days.
Juve Stabia, 5th in Serie B, came into Florence with some familiar faces. Starting goalie Andrea Seculin and Kofi Agyei, along with Maxwell Acosty, who started on the bench, are all on loan from Fiorentina,
The match started in a back and forth manner, with both sides moving the ball but having no chances.
It took 20 minutes for the first real chance, a strong shot from El Hamdaoui which was blocked on the way in.
8 minutes later, Juve Stabia hit the cross bar from a corner kick.
5 minutes after that El Ham had another chance but shot it just wide
Minute 37 Juve Stabia had another chance deflected wide by Migliaccio. The following corner was headed at the net, but Neto stepped up and made the save.
At minute 42, El hamdaoui drew the attention of the defenders and the goalie and served the ball to a wide open Romulo, all alone in the middle of the box with an open net and he sent it wide.
The half ended with Fiorentina owning 63% of the possession and yet being out shot 9-5, with the visitors getting 3 shots on net to 1 shot on net for La Viola.
After halftime, Montella brought on the big guns to restore order, bringing in Borja Valero for Llama and Juan Cuadrado for El Hamdaoui, who had been showing fatigue.
The second half was all Fiorentina, as Seferovic put in a header from Fernandez 7 minutes into the half to notch his first Viola goal and put Fiorentina up 1-0.
The domination continued with Cassani and Pizarro both focing saves from Seculin in the first 15 minutes of the half.
Minute 72 Ahmed Hegazy took a rebound from a Valero shot and buried it to double the Viola lead. The goal was his first Fiorentina tally, as well.
Nenad Tomovic missed a chance for a third goal, hitting the pole on a forward run.
The match ended with Fiorentina owning 64% of possession, out shooting Juve Stabia 17 to 9 (12-0 in the second half) with 8 shots on net to 3 for the visitors. Neto was called on for 3 saves while Seculin made 6.
Neto(6) - Won his second Coppa match of the season, but really was hardly challenged. Beaten once, but saved by the crossbar. Came out of his zone a bit too much before halftime, but managed to keep his hands out of the way.
Migliaccio(6.5) - Played defense like he'd been there all season. Faded a bit in the second half, but he hasn't had a chance to play much.
Hegazy(7) - Big and tough, a player tried to get around him as he shielded a ball as it went out of bounds and the player just bounced off him. Held and played the ball with confidence when the defense played forward. Scored his first Serie A goal.
Tomovic(6.5) - Played well in back and forward, hit a pole on one foray forward.
Cassani(6) - Rough start to the match, giving the ball away 3 out of 4 times he touched it, but seemed to snap out of it. Second half, with the inclusion of Valero and Cuadrado, his game changed markedly and he hooked up well and seemed a part of the midfield.
Romulo(6) - missed a wide open net and had issues with Cassani early, but got better as the game wore on and started Hegazy's scoring play as he drove around a defender and got the ball to the front of the net.
Pizarro(6.5) - Nice to see him back. He was the star of the midfield in the first half.
Fernandez(6) - Invisible in the first half, he came on more after halftime as he was moved forward in the formation. Got the assist on the first goal, serving Seferovic from a corner. Subbed late for Della Rocca. ; Della Rocca(NA) - showed some nice pace and some ball control, but really didn't have enough time.
Llama(5.5) - A young version of the bad Pasqual. gave away balls and crossed to no one. Subbed out at halftime ; Valero(7) - As soon as he stepped on the field, the team shifted to the one we've been used to and Juve Stabia never was dangerous again.
El Hamdaoui (6) - Did a lot of running, had a few shots, nearly broke loose of the defense but was blocked, but seemed to get tired towards the end of the half and was subbed at half time; Cuadrado(7) - Along with Valero, once he was on the field, Juve Stabia had no chance. Put the defenders back on their heels and ran ran ran.
Seferovic(6) - Nice header to open the scoring, but had issues in the first half. Held the ball way to long and turned it over time and again. Second half, seemed to overcome that issue, his passing became more crisp.
Montella(6.5) - Got a lot of playing time for those players that hadn't been able to get on the pitch, and yet got his two big midfielders on when they needed them and it turned into two goals. Seems to be making the right calls and has the team in the right mindset.
Next Coppa Match will be against Udinese, who have had a bye in this competition up to this point. Udi have been notoriously apathetic about anything outside of Serie A this year. They have not done at that well in league either, for that matter. That being said, Udinese have only lost two matches at home in all competitions, a 4-1 loss to Juventus and an Europa League loss to Young Boys. Besides the 2 losses, Udi have 2 wins and 5 draws at home. Fiorenitna beat Udi earlier this season, 2-1 at the Franchi.
Next up in the League is a home match against Sampdoria. Sampdoria is 11th in Serie A and have a two game win streak, getting home wins against Bologna and Genoa. Prior to that, Samp had lost 7 in a row. Former Viola Gianni Munari has played in both matches and looks likely to see the pitch, but fan favorite Lorenzo Di Silvestri has had a hard time getting playing time and doesn't seem to get any this weekend either.
After Sampdoria, only 4 matches remain until the winter break and the madness of the winter transfer window, which opens January 1st and will remain open until February 1st.
Sunday, December 2 2:45 ET Fiorentina v Sampdoria
Saturday, December 8 2:45 ET AS Roma v Fiorentina
Sunday, December 16 6:30 ET Fiorentina v Siena
Wednesday, December 19 Udinese v Fiorentina (Coppa Italia)
Saturday, December 22 9:00 ET Palermo v Fiorentina
Sunday, January 6 9:00 ET Fiorentina v US Pescara
End of the First Half of the Season
Coppa Italia Bracket