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Inter Milan 1-1 Fiorentina: Recap and highlights

A point apiece feels fair on the balance of play in a really, really exciting game.

FC Internazionale v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A
Perfect equilateral isosceles triangle.
Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

Pre-match

Simone Inzaghi trotted out the XI we expected except for ex-Viola defender Danilo D’Ambrosio. Vincenzo Italiano made some changes, bringing in Lorenzo Venuti and originally leaving Nikola Milenković on the bench before a knock in the warmup forced him to bring the Serbian back in place of Lucas Martínez Quarta.

First half

Inter Milan pinned Fiorentina back early on but couldn’t get anything out of that pressure, but the Viola responded well. A neat move down the right saw Nicolás González pop one on frame that forced Samir Handanović into a sprawling save, opening the floodgates to throw bodies forward. Nico was usually the catalyst, although Riccardo Saponara was also involved. Unfortunately, almost every subsequent chance for the good guys (and there were many) ended with a shot blocked by a defender; the Nerazzurri blocked 6 in total in the half. Pietro Terracciano did have to make a very good save on Edin Džeko after a bit of a mixup between Cristiano Biraghi and Igor at the back, but the half ended scoreless with Fiorentina probably edging it by a decent amount.

Second half

While it was the hosts who came out firing as a mistake gave both Arturo Vidal and Nicolò Barella, it was the visitors who grabbed the goal. Gaetano Castrovilli fed González down the right, and the Argentine wiggled through two defenders and cut it back for Torreira, who’d ghosted past Barella and lashed it home from an angle for his second goal in as many games and fourth this year.

In keeping with a worrying trend, Fiorentina conceded 5 minutes later. It was Ivan Perišić shaking loose from Lorenzo Venuti (for the second time in as many minutes) to loop a cross to the back post, where Denzel Dumfries made no mistake with his free header as Cristiano Biraghi and Alfred Duncan completely lost him.

While it felt like maybe the Nerazzurri were going to push on and win the whole thing, the Viola weathered the storm, righted the ship, and pushed on, although referee Daniele Chiffi had to check VAR to correctly wave off a penalty that could’ve seen il Biscione take the lead. Despite a baffling lack of substitutions from Vincenzo Italiano, the good guys kept motoring and even had a stoppage time chance to win it at the death, but Jonathan Ikoné couldn’t beat Handanović in a 1-v-1.

Full time

Goals: Dumfries 55’ (ass. Perišić); Torreira 50’ (ass. González)

Cards: D’Ambrosio 72’; Milenkovič 38’, Saponara 56’

What’s next

Fiorentina remain in 8th place with 47 points, although they still have a chance to leapfrog a few teams pending that Udinese game (whenever the league office decides to figure that out). With an ever-explosive Tuscan derby looming against Empoli next week and Napoli after that, it’s not going to get easier for the Viola. But with some belief (and maybe a few more timely substitutions), there’s still a chance for European competition next year.