Fiorentina kicked off the 2021-2022 season with a trip to the capital for a tie with AS Roma. That was always going to be a difficult fixture—the Viola have only beaten the Giallorossi away once in the league in the past decade—but with new manager Vincenzo Italiano implementing a whole new system while key players like Gaetano Castrovilli, Nicolás González, Erick Pulgar, and Lucas Martínez Quarta missed the preseason while on international duty always meant it’d be an even more difficult task.
The Lupi, of course, also had a new manager in Jose Mourinho, as well as a new big money striker in Tammy Abraham. And even with the Olimpico only at half capacity, it must have been quite a change for the players to hear the fans for the first time in 18 months; the traveling support from Tuscany, while small, was vocal as ever and let their hosts know who was there.
While the visitors started out quite well, the game descended into madness after Bartłomiej Drągowski got a 17th minute red card. That was just the beginning, though, as Roma scored twice from situations in which the players themselves seemed pretty certain they were offside before VAR confirmation arrived and Viola academy product Nicolò Zaniolo earned a red card of his own in the second half. Ultimately, Fiorentina ran out of gas in the 3-1 defeat, although there were some clear positives as well.
As usual, we’ve collected all of our coverage of the game here. From previews to interviews to the match thread to the highlights to the recap to some post-game analysis, it’s all right down there.