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Fiorentina 1-0 Benevento: Recap and Player ratings

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Fiorentina get the three points through Vitor Hugo’s goal but this one was all about Davide Astori.

ACF Fiorentina v Benevento Calcio - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pre Match

Fiorentina lined up with Riccardo Saponara back in the side to try and a creative spark to the side. Milekovic started the game at right-back unexpectedly after Bruno Gaspar was predicted to be back in the side.

The hosts had a few injuries to deal with and were without former Tottenham midfielder Sandro in the heart of the midfield. Benevento were still on the search for their first points away from home.

First Half

Three minutes into the game and Benevento should have taken the lead. A ball whipped in from the left brilliantly found Massimo Coda but the striker just couldn’t get the telling touch to score.

It took till ten minutes for the hosts to really look threatening Simeone looking to get in behind on multiple occasions.

On thirteen minutes the football came to halt to commemorate Davide Astori, a beautiful tribute in the stands displaying the name and number of Astori.

Seconds after the stoppage Simeone was set through on goal after a fantastic through ball by Saponara, the Argentine couldn’t get the purchase on the shot he wanted and was hit too central Christian Puggioni saved well with his feet.

Simeone was having plenty of opportunities to get on the score sheet, he was through again clean through after a great touch to get away from his man he missed the target. He punched the turf in anger which was met with applause from the stands for his efforts.

25 minutes in and the first goal came, it was fitting that a defender scored, Vitor Hugo with his first goal for the Viola rose high at the back post to power a header in. A great ball in by Riccardo Saponara who was having a brilliant game. Vitor Hugo celebrated the goal by saluting an Astori t-shirt, in what was a day full of beautiful tributes to Astori.

Four minutes later from another corner it ricocheted out to Saponara whose curling effort was well saved by Puggioni. With his first start of the season, Saponara was having arguably his best performance in a Viola shirt.

Benevento came close to equalizing on 31 minutes after a very good delivery from Bacary Sagna. Cristiano Lombardi’s header was just too high over the bar to test Sportiello, but a warning from the away side who were looking to hit Fiorentina on the counter.

Lombardi was looking the most dangerous player for Benevento and had another chance on 37 minutes. Lorenzo Venuti found the winger in the box 15 yards out and forced Sportiello into smart save who had to get down and make the save.

Second half

On 48 minutes Benevento were inches away from making it 1-1 a whipped in corner to the near post was almost turned in by a Fiorentina shirt, the away side had started the half on a more positive note.

Fiorentina were forced into making two changes in quick succession Gil Dias on for Saponara and Nikola Milenkovic was injured and replaced by Vincent Laurini on 58 minutes.

Benevento’s Filip Duricic was the next to have a go on goal in the 62nd minute forced Sportiello into a save to his left. Benenvento were doing most of the pressing in this game as Fiorentina were content with the 1-0 score line.

Benevento were not happy at all that they were not given a penalty on 75 minutes. The ball was crossed in low and appeared to strike biraghi on the arm as he went to block the ball but nothing was given.

Fiorentina were really struggling to string any passes together and create any momentum in the second half their first real attacking moment came in the 85th minute as Chiesa’s shot was blocked after some good work on the left hand side.

Benevento struck the post in the 89th minute Coda’s header was well struck but hit the outside of the post, in what was their last chance of the game.

Fiorentina came ever so close to scoring a wonder goal in the 93rd minute. Milan Badelj from 30 yards out fired his shot towards goal and struck the left hand post, a superb strike by the Croatian. It fell to Marco Benassi who blazed over and couldnt profit from Puggioni being out of his goal.

Post Match

This game was never going to be about what happened on the pitch, the club, the fans and the players were brilliant in the way they handled the situation. It was beautiful at times, it was hard to hold back the tears in the pre match minutes of silence. It seemed to be fate when Astori’s replacement Vitor Hugo, number 31 scored the opening goal. This game will long live in the memory for all Viola fans. Ciao Capitano.

Player ratings

Marco Sportiello- 7 Dealt with everything that came his way well, made some good stops. much more commanding performance from Sportiello.

Nikola Milenkovic- 6 Was brought off through injury had a solid game in the first half.

German Pezzella -7 Very assured defensively as always, Corvino needs to make sure he makes his loan move permanent.

Vitor Hugo- 8 By far his best game in a Viola shirt was fantastic defensively, and with the match winner he was the best player on the pitch.

Cristiano Biraghi- 6 Didn’t offer himself much going forward, but decent defensively.

Jordan Veretout- 6 Struggled at times in possession but no one is getting a poor rating today.

Marco Benassi- 6 Could have scored in the last minute of the game but got forward well on occasions.

Milan Badelj- 7 The leader out there with the armband, hopefully will stay next season.

Riccardo Saponara- 7 was very creative in the first half with some defence splitting passes. Nice to see him back in the side playing well.

Federico Chiesa- 6 Always gave his all, some nice passes to Simeone too.

GIovanni Simeone-6 Could have had a hatrick in the first half, given the circumstances he and everyone gets a pass today.

Bench

Gil Dias-6 Didn’t offer much from the bench.

Vincent Laurini- 6 Fitted into the side nicely.

Diego Falicinelli- 6 Wasn't on the pitch for long enough to make an impact.