Torino made it pretty clear what their plan was early on: sit deep, invite pressure, and then launch the ball over the top. Demba Seck got in behind a couple of times but was flagged offside, then rattled the crossbar not long after. Fiorentina nearly scored through Kouamé, who turned a nice Cristiano Biraghi cross on frame, but Vanja Milinković-Savić made a really good save. Still, it was obvious that the visitors were the more dangerous side, emphasized by Wilfried Singo’s rasping shot that caused Pietro Terracciano some trouble, and they made it count when Aleksey Miranchuk took all the time in the world to casually pick out the top corner amidst some shambolic defending.
Aleksei Miranchuk with a stunner!— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) January 21, 2023
That is top bins! pic.twitter.com/d3AxEnhiS5
The Viola nearly conceded again immediately after as Samuele Ricci (take it easy, McMike) pounced on a giveaway literally a minute later, but il Toro settled back and began a policy of fouling the absolute snot out of their opponents; in Michel Adopo’s case, I mean it literally as smacked Giacomo Bonaventura in the face and bafflingly had referee Alessio Dionisi whistle Jack for the foul. The referee’s lack of whistling was more than made up for by the fans at the Franchi, who made it very clear that they weren’t impressed with their team’s performance. The halftime break couldn’t have arrived soon enough.
Fiorentina came out with a renewed energy and at least didn’t get countered every 2 minutes, so that was nice. On the other hand, they didn’t do much to trouble VM-S either, so it wasn’t much of an improvement, just a lot of huffing and puffing. Indeed, Torino nearly snatched a second at 82’ after a mixup on a cross, but Captain Lorenzo Venuti managed to head the ball off the line. After that, the Viola really woke up, laying siege to the visitors’ penalty area and carving out a succession of chances for Nico González, Kouamé, Jonathan Ikoné, and Antonín Barák. It was Luka Jović, though, who missed the sitter, somehow letting David Zima block his shot with Milinković-Savić out of the picture and the open net begging in front of him. In the end, it was too little and too late.
Goals: Miranchuk 33’ (ass. Vojvoda)
Cards: Saponara 45’, Duncan 50’; Ricci 45’, Sanabria 88’
What’s next is that the fans are going to let the team have it with some signs outside the Franchi this week and possibly another protest when the boys return home. This was an embarrassing performance, not least because it was the first loss in Florence to Torino since the year of our Abrahamic god nineteen hundred and seventy six. Sure, referee Federico Dionisi was very bad and allowed Torino to get away with a comical number of fouls, but Fiorentina lacked any fire. It was really bad.
In more concrete terms, Fiorentina are now in 9th place, having lost the chance to keep pace with la Granata, who were even on points with them going into this one. With Juventus yet to play, we could suffer the ultimate indignity of having the Bianconeri pass this miserable team despite having just been docked 15 points. And with a trip to Lazio (who beat them 0-4 in the home leg) looming next week, it’s hard to be very excited about anything right now.
But hey, that Viola Park is really going to be something.