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Atalanta 0-1 Fiorentina: Statistical Review

Fiorentina’s best performing new signing gifted the Tuscans three points in Serie A third week match against Atalanta at Bergamo. This match serves as a good example on how ugly wins look in numbers and statistics.

After the Roma match which recorded Fiorentina's lowest possession percentage in the last two seasons, the purple side remained consistent in dominating the field. Against Atalanta, Montella & Co. held the ball for 64% of the match time. This stat supports Fiorentina's win but when more information are added, the picture will become clearer.

As usual, possession means more attempts to score and more corners. Fiorentina had six shots on target out of 23 attempts. That is a low 26% accuracy for such a talented team. Were Fiorentina more accurate then this result would not be as ugly as it was. Especially when Atalanta managed to get as many shots on goal as Fiorentina from sixteen attempts only with much less possession of the ball. Also, winning more than double the corners than your opponent and not taking advantage of them is something to be worked on by the coaching staff.

Now the numbers will really start to show how bad this match was in the tactical sense. With 64% possession, Fiorentina answered every Atalanta foul with almost 2.5 fouls. This is never the case for a dominating team. Fiorentina conceded 10 fouls in the first half and 13 in the second collecting four yellow cards that could have been avoided. Fernandez and Aquilani in the middle tend to poorly tackle opponents and the defenders were in my opinion a little bit confused with the three man back line, not to mention Ilicic's unnecessary hand ball. Avoiding such tactical issues in those matches is what Fiorentina used to do but end up drawing or losing to a last minute goal. In short, the result was grinded by adding more than sacrificing tactically.

The overall passing of the team was not as good as it was against Genoa or Guingamp. Many players went near the 80% mark, most notably Alonso with 45 successful passes out of 56 attempts. Some players compensated for their teammates such as Cuadrado, Fernandez, Gonzalo and best of all Ilicic to manage keeping hold of the ball for the longer period of the game.

On cumulative numbers: Aquilani and Gonzalo have two yellow cards as of the third week, Fiorentina jumped to 10th place behind Genoa in Serie A table and Kurtic is Fiorentina's goal scorer with one goal.