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If Fiorentina-Napoli had continued

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Alternate histories are good histories.

ACF Fiorentina v SSC Napoli - Serie A
Right as Massa calls a penalty for Dries Mertens.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Football is a simple game. Two teams kick a ball around for 90 minutes and then Fiorentina loses in the most mind-melting fashion possible. However, what if that weren’t the case? What if we got to keep going beyond 90 minutes? With a hat tip to the dearly-departed Dirty Tackle, we’ve got a pretty good idea of how that would have looked in the season opener against Napoli.

96’: Federico Chiesa picks the ball up in his own half. After dropping his shoulder and leaving Giovanni di Lorenzo for dead again, he dribbles into the Napoli dugout and dekes Allan so hard that the Brazilian falls off of his chair before continuing back onto the pitch and taking his 29th shot of the game which pings off an opponent’s shin and harmlessly away.

99’: Faouzi Ghoulam finally exhales, safe in the knowledge that his obvious foul on Franck Ribery won’t go to VAR. He celebrates by trying to dislocate Ribery’s shoulder again.

101’: Dries Mertens looks around and then puts his head down and sprints straight into the goalpost, caroming off of it and into Bartłomiej Drągowski. Davide Massa awards a penalty and sends off the goalpost, which ironically makes it pretty easy for Drągowski to save the ensuing spot kick, as the goal is half gone at that point.

104’: Carlo Ancelotti’s eyebrow drops back down to a regular elevation for three seconds, but he fixes it before anyone notices.

108’: Mário Rui sprints over to the Viola bench and kicks Riccardo Sottil, just because he can. Mário Rui’s wispy mustache and goatee, disgusted with their association with violence when they really just wanted to decorate a 19th-century French poet’s face, decide to secede from the rest of Mário Rui.

111’: Dries Mertens tries to jump onto Nikola Milenković’s back and ride him like a pony. When the Mountain gently removes him and sets him back down, Mertens falls down and rolls around, shrieking for a penalty. Davide Massa immediately points to the spot.

116’: Vincenzo Montella wonders if this new project is really any better than working under the Della Valles, then realizes what he just thought and giggles.

118’: Lorenzo Venuti figures out that José Callejón likes to run from a very wide right position to the back post.

121’: Kevin-Prince Boateng and Erick Pulgar finally convince Chiesa that to take the next step, he really needs some neck ink. They set up a tattoo parlor out by the corner flag and get to work, but Fede’s new art gets ruined when Allan wanders by and kicks KPB’s hand as the Ghanaian is putting the finishing touches on a lily. CdS immediately reports that this means Chiesa is desperate for a move to Juventus.

125’: Kostas Manolas just says, “Screw it” and brings a battleaxe onto the pitch, which he swings in circles, miraculously missing any opposing or friendly players before getting dizzy and vomiting all over Dries Mertens, who immediately yelps for a penalty. Davide Massa, for just an instant, wonders if this qualifies as a VAR-worthy incident, but Manolas’ axe splits his whistle in half before he can point to the spot, and Napoli refuses to continue if the referee can’t award dodgy penalties.