Fabio Liverani made two changes from his usual XI, although both were to avoid overworking the squad more than out of a tactical need. Fiorentina exes Khouma Babacar and Jacopo Petriccione were both in the lineup with Riccardo Saponara on the bench.
Giuseppe Iachini switched to a 3-5-2 with changes all over. Pietro Terracciano replaced Bartłomiej Drągowski in goal (perhaps this is scheduled rest?), while Alfred Duncan and Rachid Ghezzal returned to midfield with Federico Chiesa at wingback and a slightly-ill Franck Ribery partnering Patrick Cutrone up top. Dalbert was initially named as a starter but was forced to withdraw for reasons unknown, so Pol Lirola took over on the left flank.
Apparently the blue shirt/white short combo worked, as Fiorentina opened the scoring almost immediately. Ribery pressed high up and Cutrone came away with the ball, holding things up perfectly before sliding a pass through to Chiesa. Fede did the rest with a first-time blast that left Gabriel no chance at the top near corner.
Fiorentina suddenly looking like the prime 90’s version of themselves, albeit in blue. Here for it. This is Fede Chiesa’s opener pic.twitter.com/tX4ti31PzI— Jack J Collins (@jackjcollins) July 15, 2020
After Erick Pulgar missed a penalty that Rachid Ghezzal won, the Algerian opened his Viola account with an inch-perfect free kick after Chiesa won a foul on the edge of the box. The Viola chattering away with the ref about the placement of the wall may have distracted Lecce and Ghezzal’s pop seemed to surprise Gabriel. Naughty, naughty Rachid.
Free-kick perfection from Fiorentina’s Ghezzal #LecceFiorentuna pic.twitter.com/zQSXkzq7KY— Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) July 15, 2020
Fede turned provider for Cutrone on the third, launching an absolutely lovely pass over the top that the striker ran under and coolly dispatched with his left for his third goal this month. Also, Patrick’s celebration was to hug Christian Kouamé (with whom he seems to have developed a lovely friendship) before stealing Iachini’s hat. Top shelf.
And here’s Chiesa returning the favour to Cutrone to make it 3 just before half-time. Ghezzal (!) with a beaut free-kick between them as well. Lovely stuff all round. pic.twitter.com/KVQJOTlsoN— Jack J Collins (@jackjcollins) July 15, 2020
Kevin #ForzaViola #LecceFiorentina pic.twitter.com/EhBTEUvlVh— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) July 15, 2020
Goals: Chiesa 6’ (ass. Cutrone), Pulgar PK miss 11’, Ghezzal 38’, Cutrone 40’ (ass. Chiesa)
Cards: Gabriel 10’, Babacar 20’, Donati 36’; Ribery 10’, Ghezzal 27’
Change in standings
Fiorentina pass Sampdoria and move into 13th place with 39 points, just 1 behind Parma and 4 behind Bologna in 10th (a top-half finish would be fine, yes). It also means that they’re 10 points away from the trapdoor with 5 games left, which should mean that safety is pretty well assured.. Lecce, on the other hand, remain stranded in the final relegation spot in 18th, a point behind Genoa and safety, although the Grifoni play Torino tomorrow for a chance to widen the gap.