With a number of players missing through injury, Vincenzo Italiano had to field a rather second-choice midfield against the capolista, who didn’t make any changes from the team that beat Lazio last week. That meant Sofyan Amrabat, Alfred Duncan, Youssef Maleh, and Lorenzo Venuti were all in the XI.
It was a pretty tight, cagey affair for the most part, with neither team creating all that much. AC Milan looked to hit on the break, but the Fiorentina fullbacks did a nice job on their wingers, while Amrabat and Duncan shut down the middle. The Viola were a bit rocky going forward too, though, as their own wingers proved unable to break past the Rossonero defense. While both teams had chances—Olivier Giroud missed a wide open look and Riccardo Saponara forced a good save from Mike Maignan—on the whole, a scoreless draw felt like a fair reflection of play. And that likely suited Italiano and company just fine.
With Lucas Martínez Quarta at rightback, Fiorentina resumed action, but it quickly became clear that Milan had shifted into a higher gear. They pressed relentlessly and pinned the visitors back, with Rafael Leão and Hernández looking particularly dangerous in the final third, even though they couldn’t quite find the breakthrough. The Viola hung on grimly and even had a chance or two to grab one themselves, but an inexplicable Pietro Terracciano pass straight to Leão’s feet meant it was all for nought.
Despite throwing bodies forward for the final 10 minutes, it never felt like the breakthrough was coming; indeed, Milan had a few very promising counterattacks that they couldn’t pull together. The fact that Italiano didn’t even bother bringing on Krzysztof Piątek feels like a pretty good summation.
Goals: Leão 82’
Cards: Bennacer 88’; Maleh 2’, Venuti 41’, Martínez Quarta 72’
The Viola slump to their third straight defeat, albeit this time with a bit more dignity than they did against Salernitana and Udinese. Still, it means that Europe floats ever farther away as Lazio barely (and maybe unfairly) beat Spezia and AS Roma get a Bologna team with nothing to play for. With just Roma, Sampdoria, and Juventus left, Fiorentina definitely have dug themselves a hole they’ll need to climb out of if they want to make it to Europe.