Viola fans got a pleasant surprise when Christian Kouamé started over Valentin Eyserric up top, while LMQ came in for Igor and Erick Pulgar for the suspended Sofyan Amrabat. Claudio Ranieri started just about his strongest XI, although Antonio Candreva was surprisingly excluded and Lorenzo Tonelli also missed out due to suspension.
After watching Gaetano Castrovilli lose the ball about 12 times in the opening 15 minutes, a painfully sloppy match got its first goal due to poor marking from Lorenzo Venuti and Bartłomiej Drągowski not coming off his line nearly fast enough. Keita Balde nodded home a header from about 5 yards out to give Samp the lead.
|— Actu Foot Afrique (@ActuFootAfrique) February 14, 2021
Keita Balde encore buteur face à la Fiorentina . pic.twitter.com/PWmfJsWuGK
Just minutes later, Erick Pulgar struck a beautiful free-kick from the edge of the box, forcing a great save from Emil Audero. Vlahovic’s rebound header just crossed the line, good for his eighth goal of the season.
Ranieri’s substitutions paid off, as Candreva found Fabio Quagiarella, who slotted home his eighth goal of the season on a low-driven shot which Drągowski also should have done better with.
Fiorentina created chances throughout the half, as both Giacomo Bonvantura and Cristiano Biraghi came close, but never really looked like coming back once they fell behind a second time.
Goals: Balde 31’ (ass. Ramirez), Vlahović 37’, Quagiarella 71’ (ass. Candreva)
Cards: Venuti 34’, Damsgaard 57’, Pulgar 61’, Bonaventura 79’
Losing here means that Fiorentina remains in 16th place with a pathetic 22 points from 22 matches, while Sampdoria solidifies their hold on 10th place in the table with 30 points. This is the result that officially damns the Viola to yet another season of lower-mid-table mediocrity. Fiorentina remains seven points ahead of Cagliari and the final relegation spot and will now prepare to face Spezia Friday evening. One has to wonder if a certain Director of Sport will be let go in the coming days.