Both sides made some changes, with Vincenzo Italiano opting for Sofyan Amrabat, Riccardo Saponara, and Krzysztof Piątek. Max Allegri switched to a 3-5-2 with Paulo Dybala and Fiorentina legend Giorgio Chiellini in the side, while Dušan Vlahović only started from the bench.
And we’d be remiss not to mention the atmosphere. On a gloriously sunny day, the Fiorentina players brought their families out ahead of kickoff to bask in an incredible carnival atmosphere. It didn’t have the same flavor as that Coppa Italia match; rather, it felt like a party in the Artemio Franchi with everyone singing and shouting and having a rollicking good time. It was exactly what it was supposed to be and it was so beautiful.
The game followed the pattern you’d expect from the opening whistle: Fiorentina dominated territory and possession, while Juventus sat deep and attacked exclusively by thumping the ball over the top and hoping that Moise Kean would run onto it. However, that trademark Allegri deep block proved an obstacle and the Viola struggled to break down their visitors. Giacomo Bonaventura was the bright spot, offering a constant spark on the ball and coming close a couple of times with long range strikes, but Krzysztof Piątek was completely unable to shake free, so the hosts had no presence in the box.
Aside from a brief period of pressure around the 20 minute mark, that was pretty much the first 45 minutes. There were some standout moments—Jack’s shots, Cristiano Biraghi nutmegging Fabio Miretti’s soul out of his body, a big time tackle from Nikola Milenković on Adrien Rabiot—but there wasn’t much goalmouth action. Or there wasn’t until moments before the halftime whistle, when Piątek went down after a clash with Chiellini and Jack went down after a clash with Leonardo Bonucci and Alfred Duncan pounced on the loose ball and hammered it past Mattia Perin to take the lead.
Despite bringing on Daniele Rugani (?) and Carlo Pinsoglio (??), Juventus never really looked like getting into the game. Fiorentina’s press left them discombobulated and unable to build anything out of the back. Even the introduction of Dušan Vlahović did nothing to spark the visitors; indeed, he only got one touch for the fans to boo him and vanished otherwise, which was a bit comical. After the news broke that Empoli had scored on Atalanta, it clearly became a matter of keeping the ball and killing the game off, but Lucas Torreira wanted more; in stoppage time, he drove into the box, where Bonucci stuck a leg out and tripped him. Nico González made no mistake from 12 yards out and the roof came off the Franchi as the team returned to Europe.
Goals: Duncan 45’+1 (ass. Bonaventura), González PK 90’+2
Cards: Igor 44’, Venuti 56’, Amrabat 70’; Kean 44’, Rabiot 56’, de Ligt 84’
The boys get a well-deserved vacation this summer with no internationals and, hopefully, a lot of time at the beach. They’ll need all the relaxation they can get during these months since they’ll be in the Conference League. It’s an incredible achievement for a club that was worried about relegation in the final weeks of last year, and doing it against Juventus makes it that much sweeter. Thank you all for a hell of a year. Can’t wait to do it again.