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Fiorentina 0-3 Lazio: Recap and highlights

The Viola remind us that they’re prone to collapse for 45 minutes at any given moment.

ACF Fiorentina v SS Lazio - Serie A
That kind of day.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pre-match

Vincenzo Italiano handed a debut to new signing Arthur Cabral and also started Matija Nastasić, Riccardo Sottil, and José Callejón (despite having Riccardo Saponara and Jonathan Ikone). Maurizio Sarri didn’t spring any big surprises with his selections.

First half

This was a wild half for being scoreless. It started with Lazio dominating possession but Fiorentina pinning them into their own box. The momentum swung to the hosts after 20 minutes and they created some good chances, largely down the left or by pouncing on errors in possession, but the visitors regained the initiative after some truly shocking giveaways from Lucas Torreira gave them acres of space to break into several times. Pietro Terracciano had to make several very sharp saves, but a scoreless half felt about right. It was fast, open, chaotic, and very physical: referee Daniele Orsato easily could’ve handed out more than the two cards he showed.

Second half

Yikes. Fiorentina came out okay and kept the ball decently but completely fell apart at the back. First, Nikola Milenković (who’d been flawless in the first half) and Nastasić totally switched off and let Sergej Milinković-Savić run untouched through the defense to meet a Mattia Zaccagni pass and easily finish past Pietro Terracciano.

Even down a goal, Fiorentina had chances (including a penalty that got overturned), but atrocious defending again destroyed them. This time, it was Nastasić completely missing a high ball and letting Ciro Immobile jet past him and slot home. Not great, Bob.

You might think that the defense would tighten up, the forwards would sharpen up, and the Viola would mount a comeback in front of their fans. Instead, Nastasić again whiffed on a simple ball and let Immobile through. He tried to round Terracciano, but the goalie got a touch on it and it ended up bouncing in off a sliding, despairing Cristiano Biraghi.

[ed. note: I can’t find video of this one anywhere but maybe I’ll add it later, depending on how much pain I want to cause myself.]

To round off the humiliation, Lucas Torreira—who’d been catastrophic all game—earned a second yellow for screaming at referee Daniele Orsato for not giving a foul. While he certainly deserved the call, Nico González can tell you that sort of outburst only has one end. The game petered out for the final minutes as the Viola gave up. It was bad, bad, bad.

Full time

Goals: Milinković-Savić 52’ (ass. Zaccagni), Immobile 70’ (ass. Patric), OG Biraghi 81’

Cards: Bonaventura 50’, Torreira 55’ 85’ (sent off); Leiva 31’, Pedro 46’, Lazzari 67’, Patric 83’, Strakosha 85’

What’s next

Fiorentina’s undefeated streak at the Franchi comes to a gurgling halt at 8 games. They fall 3 points behind Lazio in the standings and, even worse, give the critics who accused them of being a one-man team no shortage of ammunition. Italiano needs to figure a lot of things out, primarily his selection: starting Callejón and Nastasić was catastrophic and he deserves all the questions he’ll get. One result doesn’t mean the season is over, but it’s time to see what kind of character this squad possesses.