Stefano Pioli brought Edimilson Fernandes back into the midfield and benched Giovanni Simeone, with Luis Muriel moving to striker and Kevin Mirallas getting the start out wide. Eusebio di Francesco, meanwhile, opted for Javier Pastore as the trequartista and Patrik Schick as the striker.
It only took 6 minutes for Fiorentina to get on the board. Bryan Cristante and Pastore cheaply conceded possession and gave Marco Benassi possession. The midfielder picked out Mirallas down the left, and the Belgian’s low cross somehow evaded the entire AS Roma defense and found Federico Chiesa, who tucked it home with his first touch.
The Mirallas-Chiesa connection wasn’t done, though, as the Belgian played a marvelous through ball to Chiesa at . Fede made a perfect run, using a laggard Aleksandr Kolarov to stay onside and then, in acres of space, chip the ball over Martin Olsen.
This being Fiorentina, they couldn’t keep it together for an entire half. Just before the half hour mark, Stephan El Shaarawy held the ball up on the wing, drawing three defenders, and Kolarov ducked inside of him to snag a layoff. Nobody picked him up and the Serbian fullback hammered home from distance with Alban Lafont helpless.
The Viola weren’t done, though, and the next goal came from the left again. This time, it was Fede switching play to Mirallas, who laid it to Cristiano Biraghi on the overlap. The fullback did the rest, treating Alessandro Florenzi’s attempt to stop him as nothing more than the mildest of inconveniences. The leftback drove to the touchline and cut it back for Luis Muriel, whose shot took a big deflection off Kostas Manolas and left Olsen with no chance.
Benassi joined the fun at 66’, timing a run perfectly for Muriel to slide him in down the right. As we’ve come to expect from the club’s leading scorer this year, Benassi made no mistake with his low finish, expertly slotting it between Olsen’s legs.
The Viola weren’t even close to done, though. Next up, Benassi turned provider with a nice run in behind on the left wing and cross for Chiesa, who took one magisterial touch to steady himself before lashing home a rocket that Olsen had no hope of stopping. That finished Fede’s hat trick and his evening, and what a finish it was.
Giovanni Simeone clearly wanted in on the action as well, and had his desire fulfilled with 11 minutes left. Gerson played a ball in from the wing, and Cholito—who’s come in for plenty of stick for his first touch this year—flawless cushioned it into the smallest of spaces between two defenders before dinking it past the goalkeeper. He was clearly relieved to get one in the net, and the whole team sprinted out to celebrate with him.
Simeone doubled his tally at the death, beating Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio in a footrace for a ball over the top from Jordan Veretout. Cholito clearly just wanted it more, holding off a half-hearted body check and powering his finish home to ensure his brace.
Goals: Chiesa 6’ (ass. Mirallas), Chiesa (ass. Mirallas), Kolarov 28’ (ass. El Shaarawy), Muriel 33’ (ass. Biraghi), Benassi 66’ (ass. Muriel), Chiesa 74’ (ass. Benassi), Simeone 79’ (ass. Gerson), Simeone 89’ (ass. Veretout)
Cards: Zaniolo 17’, El Shaarawy 31’, Muriel 69’, Pellegrini 71’, Džeko red card 72’