Because of all the water on the pitch, this one was pretty much useless. All we saw was that Fiorentina weren’t very able to move the ball, since its path was entirely unpredictable due to the puddles; it would stop or accelerate without warning, so anything good had to come through the air. Venezia probably had the better of the play, forcing one utterly magnificent save from Alban Lafont, but the real highlight was the bad temper displayed by both sides: Venezia players dove and poked at the Viola, and the Viola fell right into the trap and dug right back at them.
Lineup: Lafont; Biraghi, Vitor Hugo, Pezzella, Diks; Dabo, Veretout, Benassi; Eysseric, Simeone, Chiesa
Goals: to not drown
Fiorentina came out much better in the second half, pinning Venezia back in their own area and forcing several strong saves from the Arancioneroverdi goalkeepers. However, the miserable pitch prevented them from ever quite getting on the same page and finishing a move off. We did at least get to see new acquisition Christian Nørgaard in action for about a quarter hour, and he looked well up to the pace. Venezia scored with literally the last kick of the game through Jacopo Segre, who struck a volley from about 30 yards out after a corner that dipped into the top corner of the goal. He’ll probably never hit a ball that well again in his life, but it was pretty dang cool.
Lineup: Lafont; Biraghi (Olivera 85’), Vitor Hugo, Pezzella, Diks (Milenković 67’); Dabo (Nørgaard 73’), Veretout, Benassi; Eysseric, Simeone, Chiesa (Sottil 79’)
Goals: try not to get hurt
Three things we learned
1. Football should be played on a pitch, not in a swimming pool. It’s awfully hard to draw conclusions about a match when nobody could pass or dribble. It’s a minor miracle that everyone finished unscathed, as there was a lot of sliding around on this waterlogged grass and not a whole lot else.
2. The tifosi are in midseason form already. Goddammit.
3. Honestly, nothing else. Again, this one should have been called off, so there’s not much to say. I don’t know, Christian Nørgaard has maybe the squarest jaw I’ve ever seen on a human? I got nothing, yall.