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Fiorentina 3-0 Spezia: Match report and highlights

The Viola in general and a certain Serbian striker in particular are just too much for the Ligurians to handle in a game that wasn’t ever close.

ACF Fiorentina v Spezia Calcio - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pre-match

On an absolutely gorgeous Tuscan day, neither manager made any crazy changes. Vincenzo Italiano (facing his former team and feeling a bit emotional) stuck with Gaetano Castrovilli and handed the Rickies—Sottil and Saponara—their starts on the wings. Thiago Motta stuck with young David Strelec in attack but otherwise did as expected.

First half

Fiorentina dominated possession but consistently shot poorly, making it too easy for Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel. Riccardo Sottil was particularly profligate, but Giacomo Bonaventura, Riccardo Saponara, Gaetano Castrovilli, and Dušan Vlahović were all guilty of weak attempts. It took Emmanuel Gyasi committing a very obvious handball on a corner—reaching over his head to slap the ball away from Nikola Milenković, who was towering over him—and a lengthy VAR check to send Dušan Vlahović to the spot, where he was as reliable as ever, smashing home, but didn’t celebrate.

Second half

The Viola picked up where they left off, applying constant pressure but not quite getting it right at the end. Not until just after the hour mark, when an outrageous combination between Álvaro Odriozola and Riccardo Saponara set up Vlahović for a simple finish to complete his brace.

The big Serbian wasn’t done, though, and finished his hat trick nicely 10 minutes later. He started the move by bringing down a thump upfield from Pietro Terracciano and laying it off to Giacomo Bonaventura in space. The midfielder spread it wide to José Callejón, who cut it back for Dušan to smash home from close range and finish his hat trick.

The rest of the game was pretty much a joke as Spezia never attempted any sort of comeback and Fiorentina just knocked the ball around and even thought at times about adding a fourth.

Goals: Vlahović PK 44’ 62’ 72’

Cards: Martínez Quarta 44’, Venuti 55’, Vlahović 75’, Maleh 82’; Ferrer 22’, Gyasi 43’, Colley 57’

What’s next

Vlahović’s goal tally is now at 8 on the season, which puts him 1 behind capocannoniere Ciro Immobile (and even with Diego Simeone, of all people). Fiorentina, meanwhile, climb to 7th in the standings with 18 points, leapfrogging Juventus (point and laugh, everyone) and trailing Lazio on goal difference. They’ve also won back-to-back games at home for the first time since January (yikes), scoring 6 goals and conceding none. That kind of emotional lift will be necessary with AC Milan and the Juvenuts up next, but let’s just enjoy the win for now.