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Hellas Verona 0-3 Fiorentina: Match report and highlights

It took a lot of luck and some weird breaks, but the Viola come out with a massive win on the road.

Hellas Verona v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images


Hellas Verona boss Marco Zafferoni started his expected XI, including a sterling effort to troll this website by including Ondrej Duda in the mix. Vincenzo Italiano started former Mastini Sofyan Amrabat and Antonín Barák, as well as Aleksa Terzić and Arthur Cabral in a match that featured the expected good fellowship in the stands between the twinned sets of fans.

First half

The game started out rather raggedly, with neither side able to generate a modicum of control; instead, both teams seemed happier to hoof it back and forth and hope for a lucky bounce and start pressing high if that failed. It worked better for Fiorentina, as Jonathan Ikoné dusted Paweł Davidowicz down the wing before squaring to Barák, who finished with aplomb and declined to celebrate against his former employer.

The goal didn’t really change the tenor of the game, which remained wide open and desperate for some quality in the middle of the park. Fiorentina’s high line nearly cost them when Kevin Lasagna and Darko Lazović combined brilliantly on the break, but the striker’s wide open header somehow missed the target; he’s always been a, hm, streaky finisher, but that was beyond the pale.

The Viola mostly steadied themselves and largely kept Verona quiet for the rest of the half while occasionally threatening on the other end. Nicolás González came close with a blast from distance, but the second goal arrived from Arthur Cabral; the Brazilian scored in his 4th straight appearance with a simple finish off a corner, but that’s fine. They can’t all be wondergoals.

Fiorentina saw off the half calmly enough, largely because the Mastini simply couldn’t string two passes together. The 0-2 lead was a bit fortunate, perhaps, but the Viola were miles the better side, mostly because they weren’t as woefully bad.

Second half

Whatever Zafferoni said to his charges at the break clearly worked, as they came out firing on all cylinders, pinning Fiorentina back and forcing Pietro Terracciano into a couple of saves. They even got the ball in the net off a free kick via Isaac Hien’s head, but referee Federico La Penna had already whistled as they’d taken it before he allowed, much to the fury of the Marcantonio Bentegodi. While Ikoné had a great chance to put it to bed but saw his shot blocked, it was all Verona in the early going.

After a quarter hour, though, Fiorentina mostly righted the ship, slowing down the game as Verona tired and resorted to fouling them. Nico dropped into what looked almost like a central midfield role and pulled all the strings, although there were still a couple of nervy moments at the back, particularly as Adolfo Gaich had a couple of clean headers that barely missed.

The eventual goal came in controversial/comical fashion: Gaich fouled Rolando Mandragora, and while the midfielder was down, Cristiano Biraghi lobbed goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipò from his own half to score a goal of the season contender. In fairness to the hosts, they’d already lost a goal scored from a quick free kick and were understandably irate with La Penna for allowing it, but credit to Captain Cris for a brilliant and hilarious strike.

That was that. Fiorentina had a couple more chances to add to the lead as Hellas basically waved the white flag, but a 0-3 win on the road is exactly what the doctor ordered, even if the scoreline’s a bit of a fib.

Full time

Goals: Barák 12’ (ass. Ikoné), Cabral 38’ (ass. Mandragora), Biraghi 89’

Cards: Doig 24’, Faraoni 34’, Braaf 82’; Igor 27’, Barák 30’, Amrabat 50’

What’s next

The win rockets Fiorentina up to 12th with 28 points, even with Empoli but leading on tiebreakers. They’re also now 9 points up on Verona and relegation; a loss here would’ve seen the drop zone rapidly approaching in the rearview mirror, so this is certainly a welcome result, especially if it means the team can focus on the Coppa Italia and the Conference League a bit more and leave Serie A on autopilot.