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Fiorentina 5 Inter Milan 4: Recap and player ratings

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Yes you read that right - Fiorentina win in a 9 goal thriller

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Babagoal celebrating his second
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pre-match

There were two main changes for the viola. Gonzalo Rodriguez is out injured and he's replaced by Nenad Tomovic. The other is Khouma Babacar replacing the suspended Nikola Kalinic up top. It's the familiar 3-4-2-1 with Borja Valero in a more advanced role as Milan Badelj comes into the side. Hrvoje Milić also comes into the team in a more conservative change as he replaces Federico Chiesa.

Inter are unchanged as Cristian Ansaldi has still not fully recovered, so Yuto Nagatomo keeps his spot at left-back. Inter have Mauro Icardi spearheading the attack and the Nerazzurri deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation.

First Half

Inter started the better and with great intensity, not allowing the home side any time or space on the ball. Gagliardini with the first chance who forced Tatarusanu into a action from a corner which bounced around and cross-cum-shot was dealt with by the Romanian.

It took until the 21st minute to Fiorentina show real attacking instincts but Milic and Valero made a hash of things as they should have tested Samir Handanovic.

The Viola had come into life and on 23 minutes Matia Vecino completed a great passing move. A fantastic ball by Milic to the Uruguayan who fired high into the back of the net. It was Vecino's first goal of the season and with finishing like that it's a mystery as to why he hasn't got more.

Against the run of play, Inter fired back. The fantastic wing play of Candreva and the combination of poor defending allowed the winger to set up Ivan Perisic for an easy tap in to make it all square on 28 minutes.

Inter had turned the game on its head. Joao Mario then slipped it through to Icardi who beat Carlos Sanchez for pace and finished expertly past Tatarasanu. The Fiorentina defence had fallen asleep and against the attacking talents that Inter possess you simply can't afford to give them easy opportunities.

Fiorentina came close just before the break as Valero blasted the ball towards the Inter goal but Samir Handanovic was equal to it and tipped it wide, moments later it was almost an own goal from Miranda, which prompted a fantastic save from Handanovic once again. Milic who had been a constant threat from the left-hand side saw his cross so almost headed in by the Brazilian centre back.

Second half

Five minutes in, Fiorentina were gifted a penalty as Nagatomo's awful header played it straight to Babacar and with his back to goal he was tugged back by Danilo D'Ambrosio somewhat softly but Paolo Valeri pointed to the spot. Federico Bernardeschi stepped up and it’s a moment in his career he will want to forget. The number 10's attempted Panenka was woeful: it barely left the ground and was easy save for the Slovenian.

On the hour it should have been 2-2 if it wasn't for Handanovic who denied Valero a further time. However, from the resulting corner, Valero turned provider for a superb Davide Astori header which flicked past the outstretching Slovenian to level the score line.

I'm not sure what Sousa had said to his team but it had worked and then some. A minute after making it 2-2, Vecino drove brilliantly towards goal, after a quite brilliant flick and one-two with Valero. He drove it low into the far corner leaving Handanovic with no chance.

Fiorentina were in full flow and Babacar on the counter attack looked deadly. Only minutes later in acres of space and played it to Tello, who in pure Tello style fluffed his lines.

On another counter attack minutes later, however, Babacar didn't need help. He superbly dropped the shoulder past Gary Medel and slotted it into the far corner past Handanovic.

3 goals in 8 minutes for the Viola, an incredible turn around with some devastating finishes. As bad as Inter were, Fiorentina were lethal in attack. Babacar, in particular, was like a man possessed, he was giving the Inter back line all sorts of problems with his pace and strength.

The centre-forward had one of his best nights in a viola shirt and added to his tally. Another break as substitute Carlos Salcedo ran free down the right-hand side and squared it to the Senegalese striker who easily tucked it in to make it 5-2. I think it’s worth repeating that it was a FIFTH Fiorentina goal.

Ilicic and Babacar were having a field day against a non-existent Inter defence. The latter came so close to his hat-trick as his deflected effort just trickled past the post.

It was all going so well until, 3 minutes before the end, Icardi added another goal to a crazy game. A smart turn and a great finish off the post from the Argentine left Tatarusanu with little chance.

Fiorentina never makes things easy and incredibly Icardi sealed his hat-trick in added time, as he was unmarked from a corner and couldn't miss.

Fiorentina were at panic stations. 94 minutes in Inter got another corner. Stefano Pioli had waved Handanovic up from his own half to be there and he so almost scored as it just evaded him. The drama was not over, the ball was cleared to Brozovic who saw his effort cleared off the line from Astori to save a goal and the three points.

Post-Match

Well, that was interesting, to say the least, one of the maddest games you're likely to ever see. Most importantly Fiorentina gets the three points. It was a game of some brilliant attacking performances from both sides and it could have easily been 5-5 in the end. You'd have been forgiven for thinking there were no defenders in this game. In very un-itallian fashion both teams forgot about tactics and went went all out attack. Don't think we will ever forget this one and thankfully Fiorentina didn't embarrass themselves by throwing it way. Fiorentina are now one behind Inter, and only three behind Milan in 6th, you never know Europe may still be on the cards.

Player ratings

Tatarusanu: 6- Looked a bit shaky with the crosses coming in. Wasn't really at fault for the 4 goals he conceded.

Sanchez: 5- Mixed display from the Colombian, who played in the centre of the back three. Could have defended better for Icardi's first.

Tomovic: 6- Was brought off injured before the chaos, struggled with the Inter attacking threats especially Perisic.

Astori: 7- Defensively a bit suspect and left Icardi free for the fourth. However, he scored a great header and cleared a goal off the line so he can be forgiven for a couple mistakes.

Tello: 4- One of those incredibly frustrating Tello performances. He seemed to constantly give the ball away and offered little threat.

Badelj: 6.5 Himself and Vecino are such a great partnership, which allow the Valero and co to push forward and get the goals.

Vecino: 9- The Uruguayan was sensational. He dominated the midfield and scored two brilliant goals.

Milic: 7- Was great going forward, was always an option. However, he was a bit poor defensively but who wasn’t?

Bernardeschi: 5- A poor night for the normally brilliant Bernardeshci summed up by his bad penalty miss and even apologised to the fans after coming off on 58 minutes.

Valero: 8- Majestic at times, his touch and passing were just marvellous.

Babacar: 9- He really does like playing against Inter. A monstrous performance from Baba, he tortured the Inter defence. His second half performance was right out the top drawer.

Bench:

Ilicic: 6- Didn't do too much wrong and linked up with Babacar relativity well.

Salcedo: 6- Typically in the game’s fashion was good going forward, with a great assist.

Cristoforo: n/a came on at 5-2 and made next to no impact.