Paulo Sousa and company are back in the saddle with a controlled win over a clearly outclassed Chievo Verona. While the obvious talking point is that Fiorentina will sit in second place in Serie A throughout the winter break, there's some other fun stuff to look at from this match. As usual, all numbers are from WhoScored.com.
|Shots (on goal)||Shots inside/outside area||Possession||Passes (short/long)||Passing success||Crosses/attempted||Dribbles/attempted||Aerial duels won/attempted||Tackles/attempted||Interceptions||Clearances||Fouls||Yellow/red cards||Corners||Offsides|
|Fiorentina||13 (8)||6/12||67%||743 (666/60)||88%||2/12||12/19||10/22||16/23||23||16||19||1/0||7||0|
|Chievo Verona||6 (0)||1/5||33%||379 (301/61)||74%||4/17||7/15||12/22||14/26||9||3||14||2/0||2||8|
|Short passes/attempted||Long passes/attempted||Crosses/attempted||Touches||Shots (on target)||Shots inside/outside area||Dribbles/attempted||Possession lost||Tackles/attempted||Interceptions||Clearances||Successful aerial battles||Fouls committed/suffered||Yellow/red cards||Offsides||Saves||Goals||Assists||Minutes|
Well, that's a bit better. It helped that Chievo were will to stand off a bit and let Fiorentina develop some passing moves, but everything seemed to be crisper and more urgent from the Viola side. Perhaps the need to arrest a slide gave the lads that extra impetus to press, or maybe Sousa just altered his plan. Whatever it was, it worked pretty well, although it didn't seem like the team tactics were that different from in previous games.
Quick thoughts: Uh, Ciprian, you're supposed to pass to the guys in purple. That's probably the best game from the Matías Vecino-Milan Badelj double pivot; the stats are freaking unreal, especially the interception's and the Bad Elf's passing numbers. Sure, it was against Chievo, but that looked like an all-world midfield, which was important, since Borja Valero seemed out of sorts, possibly due to some built up fatigue. The break seems to be coming at just the right time for him. Looks like Federico Bernardeschi may be worth that 10 shirt after all. Josip Ilicic and Nikola Kalinic are sort of hilariously opposite: the former is tall but useless in the air, likes to get involved in the buildup play, is a good dribbler, and only shoots from distance; the latter isn't particularly tall but is dangerous in the air, plays on the last shoulder, doesn't really dribble much, and only shoots from inside the area. I sense a buddy cop movie in the offing.
Well, that's it from VN Stats HQ. We'll resume with the Palermo match on 6 January. Until then, Forza Viola.