Under the sparkling Tuscan sunshine, Vincenzo Italiano opted for Riccardo Sottil and Gaetano Castrovilli. Leonardo Semplici, returning to his hometown, brought in Przemysław Wiśniewski, Szymon Żurkowski, and Daniel Maldini.
Fiorentina struggled with Spezia’s early pressure but took control after the first 10 minutes, playing some tidy stuff and creating decent crossing situations, particularly from the left; none of those situations ever really paid dividends, though. It was all a bit scuffly, with the hosts not really testing Drągowski much. Indeed, the opening goal didn’t even come from them, but was rather a Wiśniewski own goal, although Cristiano Biraghi deserves all the credit for his initial interception and graft to drive all the way forward.
#SerieA #fiorentinaspezia— SPORTS ZONE (@SPORTSZONELV) April 8, 2023
Fiorentina 1-0 Spezia
Przemysław Wiśniewski 25' (Owngoal/Autogol) pic.twitter.com/Ado0DH5GBT
The lead didn’t last all that long, and the equalizer arrived in infuriating fashion. Drągowski just thumped one over the top and M’bala Nzola outmuscled Igor to take it round the goalkeeper and finish; the Brazilian may have expected Pietro Terracciano to come out faster, but it wasn’t a good look for anyone except Nzola.
M'Bala Nzola goal levels the score between Fiorentina and Spezia.#FiorentinaSpeziapic.twitter.com/sMVQdma1ph— $ (@samirsynthesis) April 8, 2023
Arthur Cabral nearly retook the lead moments later, but his overhead kick crashed off the crossbar. The game slowed down a bit after that, following the established pattern of Fiorentina working the ball forward before losing it and allowing Spezia to hoof it downfield for Nzola and Emmanuel Gyasi to chase, with the Viola then regaining possession and trying to build again. It wasn’t a great half and a tie felt about right heading into the half, as neither side had done enough to deserve a lead.
Spezia’s intensity dropped noticeably and Fiorentina were able to control proceedings, but didn’t really create much as the visitors slowed things down by fouling non-stop to grind things to a halt. Josip Brekalo nearly made an instant impact, beating a man and firing, but his shot pinged off the upright. Biraghi struck the bar with a free kick 10 minutes later, but Drągowski made an unbelievable save to keep it deadlocked. He couldn’t stop Luka Jović, who was through 1-v-1 after a lovely turn, but the Serbian’s dinked finish bounced wide. Spezia nearly won it at the death after Fiorentina took a quick corner and lost the ball—Alfred Duncan’s slip didn’t help—but Pietro Terracciano got big and denied Eldor Shomurodov 1-v-1.
Goals: Wiśniewski OG 25’; Nzola 32’ (ass. Drągowski)
Cards: Italiano 62’ (lol); Maldini 35’, Nzola 45’, Gyasi 45’+1, Ampadu 63’, Bastoni 68’, Ekdal 72’, Wiśniewski 77’
Fiorentina’s win streak ends at 9, but this team is still undefeated for 12 straight, and even a point feels like a step forward, as this is the type of game the Viola would’ve lost just a few short months ago. With a bit more luck—after all, they hit the woodwork 3 times—it could’ve been another win. The team’s still clearly doing the right things.
Now it’s a matter of maintaining that momentum for the long trip to Poznań, where Lech awaits. There’s no let-off after that, either, as Fiorentina return to the Artemio Franchi for a date with Atalanta at the weekend. In short, the throttle is down and the engines are opened up; all these guys have to do is keep on going like this until the end of the season.