So, that got pretty crazy there at the end. Honestly, a 10-minute period like that can kind of defy analysis, but that's not going to stop us from trying to crunch some numbers for this Fiorentina win over Atalanta. Programming note: the numbers are now going to be coming from both WhoScored and FourFourTwo, and the latter is the source of all diagrams. Also, sorry this one took so long. WhoScored has been having technical difficulties.
|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|
|Atalanta||13 (5)||8/5||48%||418 (314/84)||70%||Crosses/20||6/18||6/20||20/37||33||10||13||5/1||4||1|
|Fiorentina||14 (8)||7/7||52%||455 (382/55)||80%||Crosses/13||17/27||14/20||19/25||16||24||13||2/0||2||3|
|Short passes/attempted||Long passes/attempted||Crosses/attempted||Touches||Shots (on target)||Shots inside/outside area||Dribbles/attempted||Possession lost||Tackles/attempted||Interceptions||Clearances||Aerial battles won/attempted||Fouls committed/suffered||Yellow/red cards||Offsides||Saves||Goals||Assists||Minutes|
Although he'll doubtless be frustrated with conceding some cheap goals, this was a pretty good job of planning from Paulo Sousa. He's clearly learned a lesson from the team's midseason struggles, and is no longer interested in sterile possession at the back; instead, he's ordered his centerbacks to aim the ball forward and give the forwards a chance to make something happen, even if it means losing some ground in the possession battle. This philosophy is more in line with his modus operandi at previous stops, so shouldn't be too surprising.
Quick thoughts: If there were a way to play soccer that only involved defending--and no passing at all--Facundo Roncaglia would be a genuine star; shame that the offensive part gets in his way, although he did a great job on Papu Gómez. It's really nice to have the Milan Badelj-Matías Vecino double pivot back, but it's even better to see Matías Fernández finally get back to being himself. He's a perfect fit as the number 10 in this 4-2-3-1, although he doesn't fit anywhere in the 3-4-2-1. Khouma Babacar is a genuinely weird player, because he plays like a guy who's about six inches shorter. He likes to work the channels and operate in space, which is surprising because you'd think a guy with his size and build would relish a penalty box scrap. Hopefully, spending more time around Nikola Kalinić will teach him how to work as more of a target man, which would make him a much more complete player.