The hosts were looking for a much improved performance after a disappointing midweek defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. For Fiorentina it was a test to see how good this Viola team were at the Olimpico facing a strong Lazio side.
Lazio started the game on the front foot and had a sighter very early on through Marco Parolo. The midfielders volley on the edge the box had Alban Lafont scrambling but he seemed to have his near post covered as the shot whistled wide.
Despite a shaky start, The Viola had asserted themselves on the game, passing the ball with conviction but just lacking that golden touch in the final third.
Half an an hour into the game Fiorentina missed a glorious chance to take the lead. Wallace played it across his own box with no Lazio player in sight, It fell to Marco Benassi who was clean through on goal. Benassi attempted to chip Thomas Strakosha but the keeper saved well to keep the game scoreless.
On a Lazio counter Lafont came way out of his goal to head the ball away, in the process clashed with Lucas Leiva, who was struck in the face with his arm. The Brazilian was left with a bloodied face, but referee Daniele Orsato gave no card to the Frenchman.
Lazio’s biggest threat Ciro Immobile, scored his first ever goal against Fiorentina. The corner whipped in was flicked on by Radu and met by Immobile whose shot was just enough to beat Lafont who got a hand to it. No doubt Stefano Pioli will have been furious with his side’s marking.
Fiorentina had little goal scoring chances but Pjaca almost changed that. The Croatian got past a few Lazio defenders but just couldn’t pick out Federico Chiesa in the box who would have had a great chance.
Alban Lafont was having an incredibly nervous game, the keeper dropped a free kick and it fell to Caicedo. Gerson just managed to deny the striker from getting a meaningful strike on goal.
Not long before the break it looked as if Fiorentina should have had a stonewall penalty. Giovanni Simeone was clearly brought down by Francesco Acerbi in the box. However, the only reason which made sense to why it wasn’t given, was that Cholito looked to have strayed offside.
Fiorentina had started the half the better, Cristiano Biraghi whipped in a beautiful ball to Chiesa but the winger just couldn’t get past Acerbi to fire home. It was a promising start from the away side as the Viola looked to get back in the game.
After some fine work from Chiesa down the left and breezed past Wallace, he pulled it back to Biraghi who fired towards goal. Sadly, for the wingback, it was straight at Strakosha who comfortably saved.
Chiesa was giving Wallace an absolutely torrid time, he again got past the defender. The ball found its way to Veretout who laid it off for Milenkovic however, the Serbian’s shot flew over the bar.
Midway through the second half, neither side was taking control of the game. Lazio were playing without pressure, and with the goal advantage they were happy to sit back and let Fiorentina attempt to break them down.
Fiorentina could have easily scored from a corner with less than ten minutes to play. Veretout whipped in a fantastic ball in and it looked as if Vitor Hugo would head home but he didn’t get the contact he was looking for. The ball came out to Chiesa who danced his way past several Lazio players but his curling shot wasn’t strong enough to beat the Lazio stopper.
With less than five to play, The Viola should have levelled. Simione raced through and played it to substitute Riccardo Sottil but the youngster’s shot was blocked by Stefan Radu.
On the counter, Lazio almost scored the goal to seal the game. Correa’s shot on the angle was well saved by the acrobatic Lafont.
Stefano Pioli will have wondered how on earth his side were losing. Edimilson Fernandes was clean through down the left side, instead of shooting he tried to pick out a teammate and the cross was cleared. It was The Viola’s best chance of the game, although you could argue it fell to the wrong man.
The game was there for the taking for Fiorentina and it should have at least been a draw for the Viola. What is worrying though, when Fiorentina need something from the bench there aren’t many attacking options who are going to change the game. Corvino needs to add an experienced striker who will come on and change games. Scratch that, just bring Khouma Babacar back. This was a big learning experience for Pioli’s young side, hopefully, they’ll be better for it.
Alban Lafont: 5- He really struggled at times and looked very shaky with the ball at his feet. He’s only 19 and learning on the job but, he's still got some work to do.
Nikola Milenkovic: 6- Not his best game but he was far from poor. Had some troubles with the Lazio’s left sided players.
German Pezzella: 7- He read the game so well, really is a fantastic centre half. Was a shame that he was on the losing side.
Vitor Hugo: 6- Not quite as good as Pezzella but had a decent game managing Immobile.
Cristiano Biraghi: 7- Barring Chiesa was Fiorentina’s most creative player. His crossing was brilliant at times.
Gerson: 6- He started the game very well but faded as it went on. Was asked to play in a more advanced role and he didn't really effect the game.
Jordan Veretout: 6.5- A good game from the Frenchman, it’s just a shame that the players further up the pitch couldn’t get the goals
Marco Benassi: 5- Missed a brilliant chance at 0-0, was hauled off at half time after a poor first half.
Marko Pjaca: 5- Never really got going in the game. A frustrating performance from a player looked like he was almost going to do something special but never quite managed it.
Federico Chiesa: 7- He was the only player who was going to get a goal. Really tried to make something happen but like the team it wasn’t his day.
Giovanni Simeone: 6- Came into the game more and more as it went on but in his fairness he was starved of service.
Edimilson Fernandes: 5- Ahhh Fernandes, he should have done so much better with his chance late on. Should have shot instead of looking for a pass.
Valentin Eysseric: 5- Struggled to create much after coming on for Gerson.
Riccardo Sottil: 5- Nice to see the young man come on but struggled against the experienced Radu.