The final match of 2021 seemed like it could’ve been a party, given the gemellaggio between Hellas Verona and Fiorentina, although the chilly air kept the festivities a bit limited. Vincenzo Italiano picked Igor and Riccardo Sottil, while Igor Tudor used Adrien Tameze at the back.
Fiorentina came out looking shaky, completely unable to work their way through the Hellas Verona defense and constantly losing the ball with aimless passes forward while leaving spaces for the hosts to break quickly. One of those quick breaks paid off when Kevin Lasagna latched onto a Gianluca Caprari through ball and powered it in at the near post with Pietro Terracciano’s positioning more to blame than anything.
KEVIN LASAGNA SCORES HIS FIRST SERIE A GOAL OF THE SEASON pic.twitter.com/TnpYU0KPCP— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) December 22, 2021
The rest of the half followed a similar pattern: the Viola scuffled and let the Gialloblu charge into space constantly. Giacomo Bonaventura had a marvelous chance after a defender slipped on the ball to let him in, but he dallied and let it get blocked. Giovanni Simeone saw that and one-upped him, airmailing a chance from 4 yards out with no defender near him. So it could’ve been worse, yeah, but it was still very bad.
Any hopes the Viola support had for a halftime turnaround were quickly extinguished as Verona began trying to kill the game off by fouling; 3 in the first 2 minutes set the tone, and referee Daniele Doveri rather let them off the hook, as the shirt pulling and nibbles at ankles were constant. Tudor eventually pulled Lasagna and Caprari, and Fiorentina responded by waking up, suddenly pinging the ball around the Mastini half and finally making it count with a lovely move that substitute Gaetano Castrovilli rounded off with a diving header for his first of the season.
Suddenly re-energized, the visitors kept up the pressure and had a couple of good chances to steal the win, none better than an Alfred Duncan 1-v-1 which he completely mishit. Even so, Terracciano nearly gave it away at the dept, punching a Martin Hongla blast straight to Simeone right in front of him, but the striker was too surprised to sort his feet out and the Fun Dad got away with it.
Goals: Lasagna 17’ (ass. Caprari); Castrovilli 81’ (ass. Terzić)
Cards: Tudor (lol) 33’, Caprari 46’, Ilić 46’; Terzić 84’
The result means Fiorentina drop down to 7th after Juventus beat Cagliari yesterday, although AS Roma’s inability to beat Sampdoria means the Viola remain equal on points with the Giallorossi. Dušan Vlahović will finish 1 goal shy of C********o R*****o’s record for goals in a calendar year, which is a bit disappointing, but sic frangitur crustulum. The Viola get a break and resume action against Udinese on 6 January, and the should have Jonathan Ikone in tow by then, although all the headlines will be about Vlahović.