This game maybe shouldn’t have happened, as Torino were only cleared to play yesterday after a rash of positive coronavirus tests. That pushed kickoff from yesterday to today, leaving Fiorentina in a limbo of not knowing when or even if they’d go to work this time around. That’s a tough way to prepare for a game, but at least Vincenzo Italiano picked something close to his first XI except with José Callejón on the right and Gaetano Castrovilli in midfield.
Fiorentina came out looking very rusty, but we assumed they’d shake it off after the first 20 minutes or so. And right on that 20 minutes, Mërgim Vojvoda got loose down the left and had time to pick a lovely cross to the back post, where Wilfried Singo was completely unmarked after ghosting past Gaetano Castrovilli. The Ivorian headed home from point blank range.
Okay, so definitely a setback, but nothing insurmountable, right? Haha we were just getting started. 4 minutes later, Saša Lukić somehow wriggled though 3 Viola defenders before squaring for Josip Brekalo to put into the empty net.
The good guys didn’t mount any sort of fightback and Torino kept pushing, pinning back their visitors and adding a third after half an hour. It was Brekalo again, this time rounding Pietro Terracciano to slot home, although let’s give credit to José Callejón’s magnificent assist to put him through.
A flabbergasted Fiorentina meekly sat back and hunched into the break, just looking grateful to have escaped the pitch. It was, without a doubt, the worst 45 minutes we’ve seen this season.
Replacing Callejón and Lucas Martínez Quarta with Riccardo Saponara and Igor did not, surprisingly, change everything and lead to the comeback of the year. While the Viola were a shade better, it felt like Torino had simply lost interest and were happy to let them pass around harmlessly for a little while before springing on the counter again, safe in the knowledge that Fiorentina’s defense would gift them another whenever they wanted. That gift appeared just before the hour mark. This time it was Igor’s turn to whiff completely, allowing Toni Sanabria to stroll past Terracciano for the fourth.
Fiorentina essentially gave up after that. The only highlight was a debut for new signing Jonathan Ikone and a few meme-worthy moments from Aleksandr Kokorin.
Goals: Singo 19’ (ass. Vojvoda), Brekalo 23’ (ass. Lukić), Brekalo 31’, Sanabria 58’ (ass. Mandragora)
Cards: Djidji 29’, Vojvoda 55’; Martínez Quarta 13’, Igor 62’
Fiorentina ignored the opportunity to pass up AS Roma and Lazio in the standings; with 2 games in hand, they could’ve pulled even with Juventus with a pair of wins. Instead, they remain in 7th place pending the Udinese decision. They also have very little time to think about this one as they travel to Napoli for the Coppa Italia on Thursday. I have no idea if getting as little time to stew on this one as possible is good or if having minimal time to correct everything is bad, but unless Italiano fixes a lot of problems, this could be a historic defeat.