As expected, Giuseppe Iachini didn’t alter anything about his squad that he didn’t need to; the defense and midfield returned unchanged from last week’s draw against Spezia, while Franck Ribery dropped out of the team entirely after days’ worth of rumors that he wasn’t available, meaning that José Callejón replaced him. Luca Gotti ran back the same lineup from last week in a clash of 3-5-2s.
Perhaps the most notable absence was the fans, as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued a decree banning supporters from stadia following an increase in coronavirus infection rates over the past several weeks.
Gaetano Castrovilli opened the scoring for Fiorentina, rather luckily scrambling home a Cristiano Biraghi cutback after José Callejón popped a ball over the top for him. Udinese goalkeeper Nicholas got a touch but Tanino peeled away to celebrate his third goal of the season.
Tanino turned provider next, corralling a loose ball on the back side after a free kick and floating a delightful cross back across, where Nikola Mienković played the offside line perfectly before thunderously heading home from close range.
Because this is Fiorentina, though, and a 2-0 lead is never safe, they let Stefano Okaka equalize from close range after Rodrigo de Paul knifed down the left wing unopposed, largely because Martín Cáceres and Sofyan Amrabat ran into each other, leaving half the box completely unoccupied.
Castrovilli restored the 2-goal lead with another Biraghi assist, but this time it was all about the number 10, who somehow dug out a perfect curler into the top corner despite having the ball almost behind him. How he put this on frame, much less into the top bin, remains a mystery.
And of course, the Zebrette got another one. It was Okaka who outjumped everyone to head home a Federico Forrestieri cross to set up a furious final few minutes.
[I’m still waiting to find this one, so hang tight and I’ll update when I can]
Goals: Castrovilli 11’ (ass. Biraghi) 51’ (ass. Biraghi), Milenković 21’ (ass. Castrovilli); Okaka 43’ 86’ (ass. Forrestieri)
Cards: Castrovilli 63’; Arslan 41’, Pussetto 66’, Becão 85’
Change in the standings
Fiorentina vault 5 places and move into 10th place with 7 points, which seems a whole lot better than 15th with 4. Udinese plummet into 17th, stuck in the relegation zone due to their inferior goal difference to Bologna.