Davide Nicola kept Armando Izzo in the doghouse, picking Alex Buongiorno at the back instead. Cesare Prandelli opted for Lucas Martínez Quarta over Igor and Lorenzo Venuti over Martín Cáceres in his own XI.
Despite Dušan Vlahović and Simone Zaza both getting the ball alone against the keeper, it remained scoreless as they each hammered it off the woodwork.
Now the drama began. Gaetano Castrovilli got sent off for slipping into the back of Saša Lukić’s legs right on the edge of the area. It felt a bit soft for a straight red, but what are you going to do?
[no sign of video, so I’ll add that later on]
Fiorentina flipped the script, though, when Giacomo Bonaventura and Franck Ribery combined brilliantly to put the latter through. The Frenchman rounded Salvatore Sirigu and powered the ball into the net for his first goal since last June.
37 years old Ribery... pic.twitter.com/QjxDSvNTdU— Aired g (@Woretzka1) January 29, 2021
Andrea Belotti and Nikola Milenković, who tangled quite a bit in the reverse fixture, met up again. The big defender went forehead to forehead with the striker, who went down like he’d been shot. That was enough for Marco Di Bello to hand him a red. It was undeniably stupid from the Mountain, but Belotti’s playacting was disgraceful as well.
Mamma mia che scena Belotti!!!— AmicodiPeppe (@AmicodiP) January 29, 2021
Milenkovic ha preso il rosso per così poco...
And it was naturally Belotti who gave the hosts a late goal, stealing in behind Germán Pezzella (who surely could’ve done better) to turn home a Simone Verdi cross at the back post and level the scores, shaking off what you might have thought was a serious brain injury not long before. Inspirational.
Goals: Belotti 88’ (ass. Verdi); Ribery 67’ (ass. Bonaventura)
Cards: Lyanco 37’, Belotti 71’; Castrovilli red card 61’, Milenković red card 71’, Kouamé 84’, Amrabat 90’+2
The draw leaves Fiorentina in 12th place with 22 points, although Bologna could pass them with a win against AC Milan tomorrow. The Viola will also have to plan around the absences of Castrovilli and Milenković against Inter Milan next Friday, which makes that fixture even more imposing. Torino, meanwhile, pull ahead of Cagliari, leaving them a point ahead of the Isolani pending their result against Sassuolo on Sunday. It’s also probably worth mentioning that Di Bello could well come under a suspension for his performance in this one, so we may not see him again for awhile.