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Sampdoria 0-2 Fiorentina: Instant Reaction

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A determined Fiorentina saw off Sampdoria in one of the highest intensity matches you'll ever see to maintain their spot at the top of the table.

Let's be best friends forever.
Let's be best friends forever.
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Pregame

With Emiliano Viviano and Lorenzo de Silvestri both on the pitch for the home team, there are double the chances for the Alumnus Curse to take effect. Additionally, Sampdoria has a fast, technical attack and a really rugged midfield. This is the sort of game Fiorentina could struggle in. Also, holy cow is the Luigi Ferraris loud.

First half

Sampdoria came out closing down like maniacs, and kept closing down like demons for the whole half. Unbelievable commitment to closing down, and it was pretty successful: Fiorentina looked uncomfortable with the frantic pace, and picked up three yellow cards in the first 11 minutes. However, it was Josip Ilicic who converted a 10th minute penalty from an obvious handball in the box from Federico Bernardeschi's cross.

Second half

Samp started to run out of ideas and energy, and Fiorentina took control of the game. Referee Russo also allowed the players on both sides to get away with more physical play. While the Blucerchiati threatened sporadically, Fiorentina looked much more dangerous on the counter, with Ilicic, Nikola Kalinic, Borja Valero, and Federico Bernardeschi the main culprits. Kalinic finished off a nice move with an assist from Ilicic to seal it in the 58th, and Fiorentina killed it off quietly.

Full time

Not the prettiest match you'll ever see, but Fiorentina showed again that no matter the opponent or style of play, they've got the quality and the mentality to get their goals and get a win.

Sampdoria (4-3-3): Viviano; de Silvestri, Silvestre, Zukanovic (YC 9'), Pereira (Mesbah 46'); Barreto (Ivan 65'), Fernando, Soriano (YC 20', Cassano 80'); Carbonero, Muriel, Eder (YC 83')

Fiorentina (3-4-2-1): Tatarusanu; Roncaglia, Gonzalo (YC 12'), Astori; Bernardeschi, Badelj (YC 3', Suarez 74'), Vecino (YC 6'), Pasqual (Alonso 66'); Ilicic (Penalty goal 10', assist 58', Fernandez 81'), Valero; Kalinic (Goal 58')