This one set up about as poorly as it could’ve. Fiorentina was missing its starting goalkeeper and 3 of its top 4 central defenders coming out of the international break while welcoming joint-leader AC Milan to the Artemio Franchi. With Nicolás González only fit enough for the bench, it looked grim, especially with the Stefano Pioli revenge narrative in full effect.
The ramshackle Viola defense, though, held firm through the opening period, constantly catching the Rossoneri offside with brilliantly coordinated movements. After a shocking error from ex-Fiorentina goalkeeper Ciprian Tătărușanu let Alfred Duncan open the scoring from close range, the visitors applied pressure, mostly through the fantastic Rafael Leão, and forced Pietro Terracciano into action a couple of times. Zlatan Ibrahimović also missed a sitter. Instead, it was Riccardo Saponara (a Milan youth product), who struck just before the break with an unbelievable curler. Vincenzo Italiano must’ve been thrilled to go in 2-0 to the good, but the inevitable fightback doubtless had him worried.
Milan threw numbers forward, but Duncan released Dušan Vlahović with a neat clip over the top and the big Serb dusted Matteo Gabbia before rounding Tătărușanu to make it 3-0. Before the crowd had fully realized it, though, Giacomo Bonaventura passed straight to Ibrahimović in the box, and the Swede pummeled it home. He added a second moments later to reduce the deficit, setting up a nailbiting finish, but Vlahović settled it late with a clinical finish after González caught Theo Hernánde napping on the ball.
It was sloppy and lucky, sure, but handing Milan its first loss of the year without Bartłomiej Drągowski, Nikola Milenković, Lucas Martínez Quarta, and Matija Nastasić is a fantastic achievement and showed some incredible team spirit.