Vincenzo Italiano decided to give Igor and Riccardo Sottil a chance to impress, while Roberto D’Aversa brought Alex Ferrari, Nicola Murru, and Manolo Gabbiadini into his XI.
Things did not start brilliantly, as Antonio Candreva floated in a cross for Manolo Gabbiadini to glance home. It was a good header but the forward never should’ve had as much space as he did, although it is awfully tough for defenders to mark 1-v-1 for extended periods, as they must when facing a front two.
It didn’t take long for Fiorentina to answer back, and it was the ever divisive Sottil who created the chance with a cut inside and a rasping cross to the back post which José Callejón turned home from close range. It was maybe the first time we’ve seen him knock home his trademark goal since he arrived in Florence, so maybe he’s unlocked.
The Viola didn’t take long to take the lead. A long switch out to Callejón let the winger play one behind for Giacomo Bonaventura, who’d burst past the defense. Jack took a touch and swung in a cross to the back post, where Dušan Vlahović towered for an open header that left Emil Audero with no chance.
Jack set up the third, too, latching onto a loose ball following a corner and dinking a cross back in that found Sottil completely unmarked in the middle of the box via a deflection off the defender. Apparently Ricky only scores tap ins, and we’ll take every single one.
Fiorentina killed things off kind of effectively. While Samp definitely had a couple of good chances, the Viola were doubtless the better team, lowering the tempo and even coming close a couple of times themselves; Sottil whiffed on a 1-v-1 with Audero that he simply has to bury if he wants to take the next step. When the triple blast went, though, it was pretty clear that the winner had also been the superior team.
Goals: Callejón 23’ (ass. Sottil), Vlahović 32’ (ass. Bonventura), Sottil 45’ (ass. Bonaventura); Gabbiadini 15’ (ass. Candreva)
Cards: Gabbiadini 42’, Colley 74’
Fiorentina move into sole possession of 6th place, pending the Juventus and Lazio results. Vlahović stacks up his 12th strike of the year, stretching his lead atop the goal scoring chart. Filippo di Stefano got a professional debut. Basically, everything feels pretty good heading into Sunday’s clash at Bologna, which of course means things could go very wrong. But for now, let’s enjoy a really good response to going behind early and a really good win.