Vincenzo Italiano lost Lucas Torreira to a late fitness issue, so Sofyan Amrabat slotted in as the regista, while Giacomo Bonaventura also returned to the XI. Jose Mourinho went for 4 central midfielders in a 3-5-1-1 in a desperate attempt to control the middle. The real story, though, was an amazing tifo in the Curva Fiesole before kickoff.
And, of course, a visit from il Sindaco Borja Valero.
In just the second minute, Nicolás González rode a couple of challenges and kept his feet, staggering into the AS Roma box until Rick Karsdorp popped a toe into his shin. After a VAR check, the Argentina international took his own penalty and buried it, making him 1/1 on spot kicks in Italy and 1/1 on PK celebrations as he unleashed Gabriel Batistuta’s hallowed machine gun.
A rampant Fiorentina didn’t slow down and it was Jack who doubled the lead just 10 minutes later, although Roma’s defense deserves an assist for letting him stroll all the way into the box and pick his spot before slotting it home.
While the Viola had a few more chances—one where Jack buried another but Cristiano Biraghi was flagged for a marginal offside and another where Jonathan Ikoné was through on goal but referee Marco Guida whistled a foul despite Roger Ibañez’ blatant dive—but it was mostly Fiorentina controlling the game and leaving the Giallorossi to chase as Igor dominated Tammy Abraham, leaving the visitors with no options other than thumping it long. The triple blast ended 45 minutes of complete dominance.
If you thought that Fiorentina would fall apart after the break as a Mourinho masterclass put Roma back in control, boy howdy were you mistaken. The hosts picked up right where they’d left off (i.e. squeezing Roma in their own half like a python with a warthog) and, aside from a 10-minute spell in which the visitors had a couple of half chances, controlled the second period. Nico and Ikoné put on a show, tormenting the Giallorossi defense with their pace and skill, and the Viola were unlucky not to add at least one more. You got the sense, though, that this game could’ve continued until the Conference League final and Roma wouldn’t have scored. Fiorentina were that good.
Goals: González PK 5’, Bonaventura 11’ (ass. Cabral)
Cards: Amrabat 19’, Bonaventura 28’, Duncan 49’; Mancini 24’
Fiorentina snap a streak of 3 straight defeats in Serie A and pull into a 3-way tie with Roma and Atalanta for 6th place with 2 games left. While the Viola hold the tiebreaker over la Dea, the Giallorossi maintain the slimmest of leads on tiebreakers (most goals scored in head-to-head matchups), which could prove decisive in a couple of weeks. Regardless, it’s a nice reminder that 2 matches is plenty for the drama to thicken to the point where you could cut it with a knife.
On a more personal level, Amrabat’s card (a very soft one, it must be said) means he’ll miss next week’s tilt at Sampdoria, so we’ll have to hope that Toothless Lucas Torreira is ready to go. It was also interesting to see that González took the penalty rather than Cristiano Biraghi or Arthur Cabral; maybe the Brazilian can get the next one if it means CBS commentator Mike Grella will ease off him a little bit.