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Torino vs Fiorentina: Statistical review

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As painful as it is to relive such a mollywhopping, it's important to see just what went wrong. While the badness cannot be entirely encapsulated in statistics, we can at least begin to get an idea of just what went wrong.

Yeah, Borja, that's about how we feel too.
Yeah, Borja, that's about how we feel too.
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Once more into the breach, dear friends, as we look at the numbers from Sunday's game against Torino and try to pick out what went wrong (besides everything). All data from WhoScored.com. Also, a quick note about the "Possession lost" statistic: this doesn't take into account bad passes or failed dribbles; it counts bad touches and situations in which a player loses the ball under little or no pressure. It's a slightly arbitrary number, but it's the best we have right now.

Team Statistics
Possession Passes (short/long) Passing success Crosses Dribbles (successful) Shots (on target) Shots inside/outside area Tackles attempted (successful) Interceptions Aerial duels (successful) Fouls Yellow/red cards Corners Offsides
Torino 31% 306 (266/50) 78% 22 12 (11) 10 (6) 8/2 25 (16) 12 10 (5) 10 2/0 4 5
Fiorentina 69% 657 (608/32) 91% 16 14 (6) 9 (5) 5/4 17 (6) 15 10 (50%) 15 3/0 2 0
Player Statistics

Short passes (successful) Long passes (successful) Crosses (successful) Dribbles (successful) Shots (on target) Shots inside/outside area Touches Possession lost Tackles attempted (successful) Interceptions Successful aerial battles Fouls committed/suffered Yellow/red cards Offsides Saves Goals Assists Minutes
Tatarusanu 8 (8) 4 (2) 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 (0) 35 0 0 (0) 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 6 0 0 90
Roncaglia 95 (93) 6 (2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0/0 108 0 1 (1) 4 2 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Gonzalo 110 (106) 3 (3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0/0 123 0 2 (1) 4 3 1/1 1/0 0 0 0 0 90
Tomovic 83 (75) 6 (1) 2 (1) 1 (0) 0 (0) 0/0 96 0 0 (0) 1 2 2/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Alonso 52 (49) 3 (1) 3 (0) 0 (0) 2 (1) 2/0 72 4 3 (1) 0 1 0/3 1/0 0 0 1 0 90
Valero 67 (61) 1 (1) 2 (1) 3 (3) 0 (0) 0/0 81 6 2 (0) 0 0 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Suarez 70 (65) 3 (3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (0) 1/0 81 3 2 (0) 3 0 1/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Gilberto 21 (18) 3 (2) 3 (1) 4 (1) 0 (0) 0/0 37 4 0 (0) 1 0 2/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 76
Fernandez 19 (18) 1 (1) 1 (0) 1 (0) 0 (0) 0/0 28 3 1 (0) 1 0 1/1 1/0 0 0 0 0 64
Ilicic 32 (29) 0 (0) 3 (1) 1 (0) 2 (2) 0/2 48 5 1 (3) 1 0 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 73
Kalinic 25 (22) 1 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (2) 2/0 31 3 0 (0) 0 2 2/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Bernardeschi 8 (7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (1) 1 (0) 0/1 12 1 1 (1) 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 26
Rossi 11 (8) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1) 1 (0) 0/1 15 1 2 (1) 0 0 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 17
Rebic 1 (0) 0 (0) 2 (0) 2 (1) 0 (0) 0/0 5 0 0 (0) 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 14
Conclusions

To me, the most notable figures from this game are the number of touches taken by the defenders (327) was nearly as many as the other outfield starters combined (378), which shows a real willingness to knock the ball around the back. Fiorentina gave the ball away more than twice as many times than Torino (30 to 13). Some of that is due to Fiorentina having the ball so much more, but some of it is just sloppiness. That's perhaps to be expected in the second game of the year under a new manager, but it needs to improve.

Borja Valero's numbers in this game paint a mediocre picture--he lost the ball a lot and missed more passes than he usually does--but I think this was more due to his being the only creative player in the middle and trying to make something happen than anything else. On the same subject, Sousa probably just discovered what Montella found out three years ago: Matías Fernandez is a midfielder, not a forward. Matigol needs space to break into, and moving him high up the pitch takes that space away, which pretty much nullifies him. Sticking with the midfield, Milan Badelj simple, calm, reliable possession were badly missed in this one, as was his ability to hit long passes. Mario Suarez may still be settling in, but was simply unable to get the ball into dangerous areas, instead passing sideways, backwards, or to a forward checking in to the play with a man already on his back.

Overall, this was the sort of game Fiorentina fans both expect and dread against a well-organized opponent who wants to counter: dominate possession without creating enough chances, then concede on the break. The 3-4-1-2 was clearly the wrong shape with the wrong personnel, and Sousa acknowledged it with his substitutions. By adding wingers (Bernardeschi and Rebic) high up the pitch, he was attempting to give his team some width to counteract Torino's deep and narrow defense. Whether or not his tactics were miscalculation on his part or dictated by the squad he has is up for debate, but let's hope he figures out how to prevent this happening again. Otherwise, it's going to be a long and dreary season.