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Fiorentina vs Milan: Statistical Breakdown

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The product on the pitch was impressive enough, but here are the stats for those of you who want a concrete representation of the dominance.

Man, these guys are excited about statistics.
Man, these guys are excited about statistics.
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Since the game is way more fun when it's quantified instead of just purely enjoyed (no, really), here's our statistical review of the 2-0 Fiorentina win against AC Milan. Keep in mind that the numbers can lie, but are often useful in painting part of the picture of what happened. As usual, all data is from WhoScored.com.

Team statistics

Fiorentina Milan
Possession 55% 44%
Passes (short/long) 514 (487/58) 349 (338/58)
Passing success 85% 79%
Crosses 16 17
Dribbles (success rate) 10 (60%) 9 (56%)
Shots (inside area) 13 (5) 8 (3)
Shot accuracy 54% haha no
Tackles 21 (76%) 19 (68%)
Interceptions 25 18
Aerial duels (success rate) 16 (62%) 16 (38%)
Fouls 16 18
Yellow cards/red cards 3/0 4/1
Corners 4 5
Offsides 1 4


Fiorentina player statistics

Passes (short/long) Passing success Crosses (success) Dribbles (success) Shots (inside area) Shot accuracy Touches Possession lost Tackles attempted (success) Interceptions Aerial battles (success) Fouls committed/suffered Yellow/red cards Offsides Saves Goals Assists Minutes
Tatarusanu 28 (16/12) 71% 0 (n/a) 0 (n/a) 0 (0) n/a 36 0 0 (n/a) 0 1 (100%) 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Roncaglia 24 (21/3) 88% 0 (n/a) 0 (n/a) 0 (0) n/a 36 0 1 (100%) 5 1 (100%) 1/0 1/0 0 0 0 0 58
Gonzalo 51 (42/9) 92% 1 (0%) 1 (100%) 0 (0) n/a 58 2 1 (100%) 5 1 (100%) 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Tomovic 42 (35/7) 79% 0 (n/a) 1 (100%) 0 (0) n/a 51 0 3 (67%) 2 2 (100%) 1/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Alonso 43 (37/6) 81% 3 (0%) 1 (0%) 2 (1) 50% 69 6 6 (100%) 5 0 (n/a) 1/1 0/0 0 0 1 0 90
Valero 65 (62/3) 97% 3 (33%) 0 (n/a) 0 (0) n/a 75 0 4 (75%) 3 0 (n/a) 3/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Badelj 67 (61/6) 91% 0 (n/a) 2 (100%) 1 (0) 0% 77 1 3 (67%) 2 0 (n/a) 2/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Gilberto 50 (43/7) 78% 5 (20%) 2 (50%) 3(1) 67% 68 3 3 (33%) 2 1 (1) 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Bernardeschi 23 (22/1) 74% 2 (0%) 1 (0%) 0 (0) n/a 37 8 1 (100%) 0 1 (100%) 2/2 1/0 0 0 0 0 80
Kalinic 28 (28/0) 79% 0 (n/a) 1 (0%) 1 (1) 100% 34 4 0 (n/a) 0 0 (n/a) 2/5 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Ilicic 30 (29/1) 80% 3 (33%) 1 (100%) 6 (2) 50% 43 2 0 (n/a) 0 0 (n/a) 3/1 1/0 0 0 1 0 67
Astori 21 (16/5) 71% 0 (n/a) 0 (n/a) 0 (0) n/a 27 0 0 (n/a) 0 1 (100%) 2/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 32
Suarez 36 (33/3) 94% 0 (n/a) 0 (n/a) 0 (0) n/a 37 0 0 (n/a) 0 0 (n/a) 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 23
Fernandez 7 (7/0) 100% 0 (n/a) 0 (n/a) 0 (0) n/a 8 0 1 (100%) 0 0 (n/a) 1/0 0/0 1 0 0 0 10

Observations

So what did we learn in Paulo Sousa's first game? Honestly, not as much as we'd hoped. Rodrigo Ely's early dismissal meant that Fiorentina were able to easily dominate possession, so it's hard to see if that will be a focus for the new mister. His substitutions made a lot of sense, as he removed Viola players who'd been carded, bringing on the new additions for their Serie A debuts in a low-pressure environment. Bringing in central midfielders for attackers (Mario Suarez and Matias Fernandez for Josip Ilicic and Federico Bernardeschi) helped the team close out the game.

The most interesting facet of the game, for me, was the formation. While various media outlets called it a 4-2-3-1, it was actually something more like a 3-4-2-1, with Ilicic and Bernardeschi moving into central positions when Fiorentina had the ball. Bringing the wingers infield has two effects: it helps overload the opposing midfield (important when Fiorentina are only playing with two central midfielders), and it allows the wingbacks lots of space forward to overlap into, pinning the opposing wingers back.

It was business as usual for most of the players. Borja Valero impressed with a team-high passing completion percentage without ever "losing possession"; it seems that he enjoys playing deeper as much as he says he does. The performance of the Milan Badelj - Borja double pivot was especially impressive given a supposedly physical midfield trio in midfield, although again this was mitigated by the wingers drifting in and Milan going down to 10 men in the first half.

I didn't expect that Nikola Kalinic would win as many fouls as he did, which is important for a team looking to play on the break. His passing was also surprisingly good. Ilicic clearly has his confidence back, firing 6 shots (with 3 on target); with nippy attackers that love moving and creating space around him (Bernardeschi, Kalinic, and to some extent Gilberto), he could start rediscovering his Palermo form. Nenad Tomovic's passing was pretty bad; Basanta may get a shot next time Sousa uses a 3-man defense. Bernardeschi lost the ball a lot, which probably had something to do with nerves.

While it's difficult to read too much into a game in which Fiorentina had a man advantage for nearly an hour, Sousa showed some tactical nous in how he set out and how he reacted to new circumstances. On this limited evidence, he's shown himself to be more than capable of guiding Fiorentina to another lofty finish.