On some days, writing these is hard. But that day is not today. This is basically an exercise in the metrics of a dominant performance. As always, numbers come from WhoScored.com.
|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|
|Inter||31%||372 (64/297)||79%||4/10||11/17||5 (2)||2/3||12/24||5||8/20||15||4/1||2||4|
|Fiorentina||69%||814 (740/58)||92%||4/13||12/15||12 (8)||7/5||12/23||14||12/20||10||2/0||3||1|
|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|
Paulo Sousa has found his new formation. The 3-4-2-1 ends up being the solution. The secret is having Matías Vecino buzzing around the center of the pitch with Milan Badelj mopping up behind him, with Borja Valero and Josip Ilicic (or Giuseppe Rossi) as twin trequartistas behind the striker. Borja finally had space today, able to both drift wide to cross the ball and drop deep to keep possession, and also able to escape the Inter Milan midfielders' complete focus due to Ilicic operating in the same vicinity. Given, it was against a ten-man side, but Fiorentina's complete dominance over the entire match, along with excellent performances from every player (excepting Ciprian Tatarusanu and maybe Jakub Blaszczykowski), indicates that Sousa's found his jam.
Some quick observations: this team is much better in possession when Davide Astori plays. He's a much better passer than Facundo Roncaglia or Nenad Tomovic, which means opponents can't press Gonzalo and then wait for the long ball. Vecino's numbers, while not as eye-popping as his performance against Bologna, covered a full 12 kilometers in this one. His mobility is really useful, as he can move to space for an easy pass. Kalinic still hasn't taken a shot from outside the box this season.
So yeah, this is the blueprint for a table-topping side. Let's see if the boys can keep it up.