Fiorentina made to short journey to Bologna for the second installment of the Derby dell’Appennino. Fiorentina were the victors in the tie earlier on in the season with a 2-1 victory, thanks to goals from Federico Chiesa and German Pezzela. This time out, Stefano Pioli only made two changes after the horror show against Verona. Nikola Milenković replaces the suspended Pezzela and Cyril Thereau drops out in favor of Gil Dias who scored a consolation last time out.
The hosts are as expected but playing a 4-3-1-2, with the likes of Rordgio Palacio and Mattia Destro looking to score the goals for the Rossoblu.
It took until the 15th minute for the first chance of the game, after a mistake by Cristiano Biraghi, he let Andrea Poli in down the right and after looking for Blerim Dzemaili it went fell to Destro whose shot was blocked. Bologna who had dominated the first 15 were just starting to show their teeth.
Fiorentina however, came ever so close to taking an early lead. 21 minutes into the game after Gil Dias lost possession, it fell kindly to Marco Benassi on the edge of the area, who fired a first-time shot, which was smartly stopped by Antonio Mirante.
Bologna almost shot themselves in the foot two minutes later. The hosts were all at sea as Poli and Mirante got mixed up with who should clear the ball the former, Poli, cleared the ball straight to Veretout leaving an empty net but the Frenchman’s shot was blocked.
Gil Dias who had been having a poor game showed what he could do. Just before halftime, after some clever step overs he got his shot away which was very well saved from Mirante diving to his right.
From the resulting corner, something incredible happened. Jordan Veretout opened the scoring directly from the set piece. His in-swinging corner swung all the way into the far corner over the top of Mirante, who was left helpless.
Bologna however, responded brilliantly and Destro fired a bullet of a shot which was Incredibly saved by Sportiello on to the woodwork.
Unbelievably from the following corner lightning struck twice, where Bologna equalized direct from a corner. Sportiello was caught out of position and could only punch it in his own net, Erick Pulgar swung it to near post and completely deceived the goalkeeper. Much like Veretout who had scored from the corner to finish what was a ludicrous last five minutes of the half.
Three minutes into the half The Viola came close to restoring the lead, Marco Benassi played a great through ball to Gil Dias which set him clean through on goal. The winger tried to take it around Mirante but the keeper did well and managed to grab the ball away from Gil Dias.
With an hour on the clock, Fiorentina were looking a lot more threatening in the second half but were just lacking that final ball and that extra killer instinct. Diego Falcinelli was brought on in the 67th minute to try and change that.
On 70 minutes Fiorentina found that killer instinct in sensational fashion. Milan Badelj played a through ball so exquisite to Chiesa, it deserves to be in the Uffizi Art Gallery. Chiesa jinked his way inside and emphatically finished it into the top corner.
with 75 minuts on the clock, Bologna came very close to equalizing twice within two minutes. Firstly, Riccardo Orsolini whipped in a delicious ball in which was begging to be tapped home but eluded the Rossoblu attackers. Seconds later Badelj made a poor mistake and let in Rodrigo Palacio who tried to round Sportiello but fired his shot way over from a tight angle.
Bologna were trying desperately to get an equalizer but Pioli who had switched to 3-5-2 saw his team manage the game brilliantly and give Bologna next to nothing in the last 15.
What a way to bounce back from the disappointment against Verona. The majority of the first half was unspectacular until the crazy final 5 minutes. Can’t say I’ve ever seen two goals like that in game let alone in the space of 5 minutes. Despite the equalizer, Fiorentina didn’t let that dishearten them, they controlled the second half for large parts and with a special goal from Chiesa including a brilliant assist from Badelj it sealed a huge three points. The confidence from this game is massive going into another big game next week against Juventus next week.
Marco Sportiello- 5 Really should have saved the goal from the corner, really poor positioning. If you forget about that, he a had a good game.
Vincent Laurini- 5 It’s definitely time for Laurini to start on the bench. was hauled off at half-time for Bruno Gaspar.
Davide Astori- 7 He’s a leader at the back and is essential for the viola. A strong commanding performance from the captain.
Nikola Milenkovic- 6 A very solid game from the Serbian who has had limited game time. A good game for his confidence.
Cristiano Biraghi- 6 Struggled at times to create and was caught out a few times defensively. Always offers himself
Milan Badelj- 8 Best Badelj performance for a long time, check out our highlights piece too see his brilliant assist.
Marco Benassi- 7 A strong game from the midfielder who was always positive in his play.
Jordan Veretout- 7 Similar to Benassi. Veretout has been a brilliant signing and I’m sure Viola fans won’t forget his goal any time soon.
Gil Dias- 6 Really did struggle in possession but did show glimpses of his pace and quality.
Federico Chiesa- 8 What a goal it was to win the game. The calmness to take on the defenders and the composure to finish was exceptional. More of the same next time out, please.
Giovanni Simeone- 6 For all his effort he never really looked like scoring.
Bruno Gaspar- 6 Slotted in very well to the team, wouldn't be surprised to see him start against Juve.
Diego Falcinelli- 5 Didn't make much of an impact, but for the majority of the time he was on Fiorentina were looking to defend and hold the lead.
Vitor Hugo- 6 Did very well coming on in a difficult scenario, did his job effectively.