Heading into the international break, Fiorentina sits top of the table. Do we understand it? Sort of. Do we love it? Indubitably. To maybe help with the former, here are the numbers from the 3-0 pasting of Atalanta. All the numbers here 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|
|Fiorentina||66%||659 (598/35)||91%||1/16||15/20||29 (9)||11/18||7/13||11||17/24||15||0/0||8||2|
|Atalanta||34%||336 (252/71)||74%||2/12||6/12||5 (1)||2/3||15/30||13||7/24||12||2/1||4||1|
|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's sort of hard to judge Paulo Sousa's tactics when he's always got a man advantage. I do think it's interesting that Borja Valero dropped back to the central midfield from his more advanced role, although the advantage meant that he could move forward anyways. Overall, there wasn't a whole lot of tactical interest in this one; just a smart, well-organized team taking care of business against an overmatched opponent.
Quick notes: Holy smokes, the center backs were busy in the air; between the three of them, they won 14 aerial battles, which, yikes. Josip Ilicic is suddenly scoring at Batistutian rate, but he's what basketball people call a volume scorer: he'll get his points, but he takes a lot of shots to get them, sometimes at the expense of his teammates. In fact, Ilicic, Matias Vecino, and Nikola Kalinic took more than half (16) of Fiorentina's shots (29). Love the confidence, but that could dry up fast. Kalinic, by the way, still hasn't taken a shot from outside of the area. As a number of folks have noted, Astori's presence vastly improves the team's passing; he's maybe more accurate with the long ball than Gonzalo, and having both of them at the back keeps teams from closing down as hard.
That'll wrap up our match day coverage until after the international break, but stick around. We've got some real, hard hitting journalism lined up, and possibly also kittens.