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Fiorentina 1-0 Cagliari: Highlights

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The large young Viola men proved crucial at either end as the good guys earned a deserved win at the Franchi.

ACF Fiorentina v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A
Love a goalkeeper in the third kit.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pre-match

With both Gaetano Castrovilli and Franck Ribery out, Cesare Prandelli turned to Erick Pulgar and José Callejón instead. Eusebio di Francesco trotted out new signing Radja Nainggolan as well as former Fiorentina players Giovanni Simeone and Riccardo Sottil.

First half

With Germán Pezzella off injured and Fiorentina playing with just 10 men for a bit, Igor fouled João Pedro, conceding a fairly obvious penalty that felt deeply unfair. The Cagliari captain stepped up to take the penalty and placed it low to Bartłomiej Drągowski’s left, but the Pole read his opponent like a book and not only saved it but held it. He’s so, so good.

Second half

Lucas Martínez Quarta (who’d replaced Pezzella in the first half) made a superb tackle to send a quick attack the other way. The Argentine spread the ball wide to Callejón, who motored down the pitch and swept in a low cross for Dušan Vlahović, who’d gotten ahead of his marker and slid it home for his 5th goal in 6 games.

Full time

Goals: Vlahović 72’ (ass. Callejón)

Cards: Biraghi 77’; Oliva 53’, Tramoni 86’, Pavoletti 90’+1

What’s next

The three points boost Fiorentina to 18, which is good for 12th place right now, although Udinese have a game in hand on them. It also means that Prandelli gets a win for his 200th Serie A game as a manager, although he doesn’t get much time to celebrate with a Coppa Italia match against Inter Milan looming on Wednesday. Cagliari, on the other hand, remain in freefall, pushing their winless streak to 10. That’s how you end up with 14 points (just two out of relegation) and in 16th place.