Venezia boss opted for newcomer Sergio Romero in goal with Ethan Ampadu in midfield. Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Italiano left all his South American internationals on the bench, which meant that Igor, Riccardo Sottil, and Sofyan Amrabat all came into the side hoping to impress owner Rocco Commisso, who was in attendance, in their first trip to the Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo in 17 years.
It was pretty dull, honestly. Venezia pressed the living daylights out of Fiorentina, and the Viola looked pretty shook. They had a decent period after twenty minutes or so but didn’t really create much, aside from a Giacomo Bonaventura shot that took a big deflection to almost loop over Romero, who pawed it aside. The hosts looked to pressure high up, then quickly retreat into a deep block whenever Fiorentina played through. Either way, they relentlessly laid balls into the channels for the attackers to chase, resulting in 4 offside whistles. The goal eventually came from one of those bursts in behind paying off, as Gianluca Busio found Thomas Henry down the right; the Frenchman ran through, committed Pietro Terracciano, and squared for Mattia Aramu to tap into an empty net.
Despite the introduction of Marco Benassi at the half (he injured Dennis Johnsen within two minutes), Fiorentina continued to struggle. The additions of Nicolás González and Lucas Torreira for the unimpressive duo of José Callejón and Sofyan Amrabat helped a bit, but the Viola still seemed to have no idea how to break down their opponents and left a lot of space that the Arancioneroverdi could attack on the break. Referee Luca Massimi handed out a lot of pretty soft cards, including one to Riccardo Sottil. That proved decisive, as the young winger earned a ridiculous second booking for tripping Ridgeciano Haps after being barged over without getting a call seconds earlier. That was pretty well that, although Venezia forward David Okereke did somehow manage to miss an open goal after Terracciano went up for a stoppage time corner.
Goals: Aramu 36’ (ass. Henry)
Cards: Zanetti 62’, Ceccaroni 62’, Ampadu 71’; Amrabat 24’, Odriozola 28’, Benassi 61’, Sottil 69’ and 77’
A flat performance while missing several starters coming out of the international break isn’t the end of the world. Indeed, Fiorentina were always bound to lose against a smaller team at some point this year, so it’s too early to freak out entirely. If next week’s home tilt against 19th-place Cagliari puts the same somnamublance on display, though, we’ve definitely got a problem, especially with Lazio, Juventus, and AC Milan up in the next month.