I believe "Fiorentina" is actually Norse for "play really well until the key moments of your season"— Viola Nation (@Viola_Nation) April 12, 2015
In one of the most enraging matches of Calcio I’ve ever witnessed, Fiorentina fell 4-0 to Udinese today in a match which leaves the Viola’s European ambitions on life support.
Pre-match, Vincenzo Italiano rotated more than expected, bringing in Riccardo Sottil and Krzysztof Piątek in place of Jonathon Ikoné and Arthur Cabral, respectively. In addition, Giacomo Bonaventura returned to the midfield after a month out injured. Finally, Lucas Martínez Quarta also started in place of Igor.
From, the beginning, Fiorentina was a little sloppy. There were some uncharacteristic sloppy passes from the entire team, and a poor Nikola Milenković clearance in the 12th minute gifted Pablo Marí a chance from a poor angle which he buried for his first Serie A goal of the season. Full credit to Marí for a powerful shot, but Pietro Terraciano needed to do better there.
Arsenal loanee Pablo Marí scores his first Serie A goal for Udinese pic.twitter.com/RueZ2YjBUt— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) April 27, 2022
For the rest of the half Fiorentina traded chances with the bianconeri, but a clinical counterattack (with an intelligent quick free-kick) and lucky rebound bounce gifted Gerard Deulofeu and Udinese a 2-0 lead.
A quick free-kick and Gerard Deulofeu grabs his 12th Serie A goal of the season. ⚡ pic.twitter.com/vUWZeuuwia— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) April 27, 2022
The Viola had half chances throughout the entire match, with a large stretch occurring right after halftime. One can blame any number of factors, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in.
Udinese themselves were unlucky to get a third, as Destiny Udogie hit the crossbar in the 81st minute.
However, in stoppage time the leaky defense flooded. Walace scored in the 90+1’ and Udogie completed the rout in the 90+5’. Despite 73% possession and 18 shots, the final score is Fiorentina 0-4 Udinese.
What does this mean for Fiorentina?
Realistically, this means the team will finish in 8th place, where we all hoped they would at the start of the season. That’s not a bad thing, but it is disappointing given how great of a position we were in to finish top 7 just four days ago. Now, the Viola will likely need a minimum of 7 points from their last four matches, which is their toughest run of the season. Nothing can be guaranteed from matches away to Milan or home to Roma and Juventus. Even the trip to Sampdoria is daunting at this point.
I don’t want to overreact here and act as if the sky is falling, so I won’t. Sure, some of Italiano’s rotations were questionable, and the team just seemed sloppy for most of the match. But, there were some bounces that were just flat-out unlucky, and on another day I could easily envision a draw or win here.
This is still a good yet inexperienced team that is 3 quality players away from becoming a great one, and so with the end of the season approaching the team’s priority should be clear: heavy investment in the mercato.