Two days, two matches, two wins for Fiorentina. The viola may have fielded a weakened side, but goals from Juan Vargas and El-Khouma Babacar were enough for the victory, even with a second-half goal from Javier Matilla.
Vincenzo Montella decided to not only to change the line up compared to the game against Malaga, but also to experiment a little by deploying players out of their natural positions. Nenad Tomović was used as a central midfielder, Juan Vargas as part of a midfield three, and Rafal Wolski was higher up the pitch, covering the left flank. It was more of a 4-3-2-1 than the expected 4-3-3. The first half saw a great display by a second string Fiorentina team, with Joaquín dominating the game, and Cristian Piccini and Babacar proving once again they deserve to be in the squad.
The viola dominated the first half, keeping the ball and creating chances. Joaquín was especially motivated in his city, in his stadium, against the team he started his career at. El Pisha was all over the pitch, piercing Betis' defense either with lethal runs down right, or perfect passes for his teammates. Fiorentina was close to scoring in the 11th minute, when Joaquín sent in a delightful through ball for Matías Vecino, but Adan was quicker and cleared the ball before the Uruguayan managed to get to it.
In the 20th minute, Wolski suffered a knock to his ankle. It looked painful, but the Pole tried to play through the pain, only to be subbed off ten minutes later. Wolski had problems with his right ankle earlier this summer, but hopefully it won't keep him out for too long.
The first goal came after a great individual effort by the young Piccini. He dribbled through Betis' defense down the right and crossed it in for Vargas who was left all alone in the center of the box. El Loco volleyed it through Adan's legs to put Fiorentina up 1-0 in the 27th minute.
Ten minutes later and Fiorentina had doubled their lead. Joaquin saw Babacar charging in and sent him a perfectly timed pass, keeping him just onside. Adan managed to deflect the shot, but not enough to stop it from crossing the line.
Betis had long spells of pressure in the first part of second half. After just five minutes, Jorge Casado's run wasn't met by a serious challenge from the defense. His pass found Javier Matilla alone on the edge of the box, whose shot was too precise and powerful for Ciprian Tatarusanu, and Betis had their goal.
Both teams brought on a lot of subs in the second half, which made the match a little too scrappy. Perhaps the most interesting moment after the Betis' goal was a sub - Juan Cuadrado came on for Joaquin. The latter earned himself a standing ovation for the home crowd, and an emotional hug from Montella. The former made his first appearance for the club since the World Cup. Both maybe, but hopefully not, just played their last game for Fiorentina.
Fiorentina: Tatarusanu 6; Piccini 7 (Mancini 6), Hegazy 6, Tomovic 6, Pasqual 6 (Roncaglia 6 ); Vecino 5 (Pizarro 6.5), Brillante 6.5, Wolski 6 (Iakovenko 5); Joaquin 8 (Cuadrado 6.5), Babacar 7 (Gomez 6), Vargas 7.5 (Lazzari 5.5)