Feels pretty good to get the good ship Fiorentina righted, and even if it's against a Hellas Verona team that's still winless this season, three points are three points are necessary to stay in contention for the top of the table. So let's investigate what a crucial win looks in the stats column. As always, all numbers are from WhoScored.com.
|Possession||Passes (short/long)||Passing success||Crosses/attempted||Dribbles/attempted||Shots (on target)||Shots inside/outside area||Tackles/attempted||Interceptions||Aerial duels won attempted||Fouls||Yellow/red cards||Corners||Offsides|
|Hellas||37%||404 (308/74)||75%||1/22||7/12||2 (0)||2/0||21/36||14||6/22||17||5/0||5||8|
|Fiorentina||63%||686 (618/57)||86%3||2/8||15/17||9 (4)||6/3||15/22||15||16/22||11||2/0||2||4|
|Short passes/attempted||Long passes/attempted||Crosses/attempted||Dribbles/attempted||Shots (on target)||Shots inside/outside area||Touches||Possession lost||Tackles/attempted||Interceptions||Successful aerial battles||Fouls committed/suffered||Yellow/red cards||Offsides||Saves||Goals||Assists||Minutes|
It seems like Paulo Sousa decided before this match that he had the better players, and he was going to get as many of them on the pitch from the get-go as he could (Borja dropping into the midfield to make way for another attacker), which maybe isn't the most tactical approach, but in some ways is sort of refreshing. The most interesting features in this one, to me, were the lack of crosses and the paucity of shots from distance. In the past few games, Fiorentina has focused on putting the ball in (averaging 33 crosses a game for the past two), and it hasn't really resulted in much. Sousa seems to have instructed his charges to try and pass their way into the goal. The few shots from outside backs this theory up; especially after the own goal, Fiorentina were happy to pass it around until they'd worked it into the box, instead of trying from distance at the risk of losing possession.
Quick thoughts: It's amazing how involved Davide Astori is in the build up; look at how much more he touched the ball than the other center backs. Jakub Blaszczykowski is still adjusting to a new team, new position, and style of play, so perhaps we shouldn't judge him too harshly. Unlike the wingers before him (Juan Cuadrado, Joaquin, Mohamed Salah), he's not really a skillful dribbler, so he's not as able to break down a packed box. Borja was excellent, but lost the ball a lot; he also played fewer crosses than he has in a long time as he stayed much deeper than in previous games. With Fiorentina not trying to shoot from distance, Josip Ilicic looks lost. Nikola Kalinic is back to his usual self: no shots from outside the box.
That's about it for this one. Short turnaround for the Frosinone game; be interested to see which personnel Sousa trots out for that one. Forza Viola.