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Udinese 0-1 Fiorentina: Match report

It was scrappy, scruffy, and downright ugly at times, but the Viola win on the road and keep their first clean sheet of the year in the process.

Udinese Calcio v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
Love a goalkeeper wearing the home strip.
Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Pre-match

Neither manager made any big changes to their respective XIs. With Rocco Commisso and his entourage in attendance, though, it felt like the traveling support might’ve outnumbered their counterparts, although that’s kind of par for the course in Udine.

First half

Fiorentina came out sharply, dominating proceedings entirely and eventually getting the breakthrough after Giacomo Bonaventura went down in the box under pressure from Walace. While referee Davide Ghersini initially ignored the contact, VAR prompted him to point to the spot, from which Dušan Vlahović made no mistake.

The Viola continued keeping the ball, but Udinese threatened more and more on the counter for the rest of the half, albeit largely through mistakes from the visitors. Really, though, there wasn’t much to watch as Ghersini let things devolve into a scrappy, unpleasant mess.

Second half

For the first 20 minutes or so, it remained a contest of who could kick whom harder as Ghersini swallowed his whistle. For the final 25 or so, though, Fiorentina were visibly exhausted and retreated very deep. Bartłomiej Drągowski made a couple of good saves, but the defense, for the most part, denied Udinese any real chances despite spending nearly half an hour in its own penalty box.

Full time

Goals: Vlahović PK 16’

Cards: Arslan 45’+2, Walace 53’; Martínez Quarta 17’, Amrabat 70’, Odriozola 90’+5

What’s next

It’s taken 6 tries, but Fiorentina finally have their first clean sheet of the season. Vlahović tacked on his third Serie A goal and 5th of the season, although his league haul has all been from the spot; in fairness to him, he’s now at 10 straight without missing a PK, so he deserves the success. More importantly, the win sees the Viola rise all the way to 5th place ahead of a visit from Napoli, who could go top with a win against Cagliari later today.