The Highlight of the Team
The highlight of the team and definitely the man of the match is Khouma Babacar. He outshined both Cuadrado who assisted two goals and Borja Valero who proved to be the heart of the team. The young Senegalese scored an "ugly" goal and a top striker goal. This performance might as well be the turning point and the birth of a football superstar.
A Deserved Call Up to the International Team
Neto managed to record a fifth clean sheet this season in Serie A and an eighth in all competitions. His recent call up to friendly Brazil matches is well deserved and we can only hope that contract renewal does not hit any further bumps.
Taking Care of Business
Gonzalo's absence was feared by many Viola fans since he was booked for a fourth time this season against Milan. After the Udinese match, I for one will be feeling more at ease with his future absences following a great defensive display from Savic, Basanta and Alonso. Between them: 6/9 successful tackles (the failed three were far away from the defensive third), 8 successful interceptions and 11/13 successful clearances.
The Hidden Diamond
Pizarro did not have any direct influence in scoring or assisting any of the three goals during the match. His passing on the other hand played a huge indirect role in Fiorentina's tactical and possession success. He achieved a 92% pass success rate in the match with only 5 backward passes out of 50. The closest to Pizarro is Borja Valero but his backward passes hurt his effectiveness slightly only compared to Viola play-maker Pek.
Pull the Plug?
He surely salvaged a point for Fiorentina against Milan but is Josip Ilicic overrated like his National team coach described him or is he just a lost talent in a bad attitude? This is a question that can only be answered by the team management but as a fan I missed out on a game that Fiorentina could have finished with more than 5 goals.
The Best Performance in Montalla's Era
It was shared in the comments section that Fiorentina are doing better this season compared to similar matches against the same teams from last season. La Viola accumulated 11 points from the exact same 9 matches in 2013-14. Also if Sassuolo match result was excluded (They were not in Serie A in 2012-13 season), then Fiorentina accumulated 11 points in the same exact 8 other matches in 2012-13 season compared to 12 this current season. To others, this may look like the worst Fiorentina start under Montella's rule but as one of our contributors mentioned, this season starting fixtures are the hardest compared to the previous two. That being said, the last 7 or 8 matches in each round are expected to be where Fiorentina gather the most points. Looking at this in the long run might be disadvantageous; the bottom teams will play like they have nothing to lose come end of the season and that might as well hurt Fiorentina more than play in their favor. Only time will tell!
Both Savic and Alonso collected a second yellow card this season and with Gonzalo coming back against Sampdoria, there is no player in danger of suspension if booked in the upcoming match.