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Fiorentina vs Basel: Statistical review

We've seen the result. Let's see if the numbers can help us diagnose the symptoms.

Yeah, it left a bad taste in our mouths too.
Yeah, it left a bad taste in our mouths too.
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Welp, this isn't the funnest thing. Here are the numbers from the past game; it took me a little longer to get to them because 1) weekend, and 2) yikes that was unpleasant. As usual, all numbers come from Whoscored.com.

Team statistics

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 42% 407 (317/77) 81% 0/11 3/13 9 (2) 7/2 11/20 13 9/21 14 1/1 0 3
Basel 58% 556 (469/19) 87% 3/19 9/18 11 (3) 5/6 6/9 18 12/21 15 3/0 3 6
Player statistics

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
Sepe 17/17 8/16 0/0 Dribbles/attempted 0 (0) 0/0 48 0 0/0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0
Roncaglia 44/45 3/7 0/1 0/0 0 (0) 0/0 56 0 1/2 1 0 4/1 1/0 0 0 0 0 90
Gonzalo 19/22 4/6 0/0 1/1 0 (0) 0/0 37 0 0/0 2 1 1/1 0/1 0 0 0 0 65
Astori 19/20 7/12 0/0 0/0 0 (0) 0/0 40 0 1/2 3 0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 67
Alonso 29/31 7/12 0/2 0/1 0 (0) 0/0 55 0 2/2 2 3 3/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Badelj 33/35 5/9 0/0 0/1 1 (0) 0/1 52 2 2/5 0 2 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Valero 31/36 2/3 0/2 1/5 1 (0) 0/1 52 1 1/3 0 0 0/2 0/0 0 0 0 0 90
Kuba 17/20 3/4 0/3 0/2 1 (post) 1/0 36 1 0/1 1 0 1/1 0/0 1 0 0 0 90
Fernandez 19/19 1/1 0/1 1/1 1 (1) 0/1 30 2 2/2 1 1 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 69
Ilicic 9/11 0/0 0/0 0/1 0 (0) 0/0 13 0 1/1 0 0 0/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 45
Kalinic 11/14 1/1 0/0 0/1 3 (1) 3/0 22 0 0/0 0 2 3/2 0/0 1 0 1 0 90
Babacar 17/20 0/1 0/0 0/0 2 (0) 2/0 29 2 0/0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0 0 0 0 45
Tomovic 8/9 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 (0) 0/0 13 0 0/0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0 22
Pasqual 11/12 1/3 0/2 0/0 0 (0) 0/0 21 1 1/2 1 0 2/1 0/0 1 0 0 0 21
Conclusions

Whatever the opposite of renaissance is, Matias Fernandez is undergoing one right now. Used as a central midfielder last season (by far his best for the club), he's ended up as more of an attacker, which means he sees less of the ball. As Fiorentina's (and Serie A's) most accurate-passing midfielder last year, moving him to a higher and wider position where he's unable to influence play as much seems like a bad idea. His ability to pick up the ball in the center of the pitch, beat his man, and drive into the final third is also sorely lacking. With Borja Valero forced to do all the heavy lifting in the center, opposing teams have rightly figured out that stopping Valero means the Viola defense will be forced to hoof the ball forward relentlessly--check out how many long passes came from the center backs. The obvious solution is to revert to a three-man midfield with Borja and Mati joined by Milan Badelj or Mario Suarez.


Some other quick notes: given his tackling and aerial abilities, Marcos Alonso might fit better as a center back than a fullback or wing back; he almost seems like a left-sided Tomovic, but better in the air. If Facundo Roncaglia leads your team in touches, you're gonna have a bad day, even if his pass for Kalinic's goal was--though not an assist--rather nice. Badelj isn't and probably won't ever be a star, but he's almost Busquets-lite: a holding midfielder who breaks up play and rarely does anything spectacular, but keeps the ball moving. The problem, of course, is that Busquets has Iniesta and Rakitic ahead of him, whereas Badelj's only midfield colleague is Borja. Of four competitive games with Fiorentina this year, only one hasn't had a red card. Nikola Kalinic got his first goal in purple.

The biggest takeaway from this one, though, is that teams have figured out Paulo Sousa's first choice formation and tactical scheme. If he can't come up with something better, and fast, this could be a long season for the club, if a short one for him.