Fiorentina thrashed Hellas Verona 5-0 at the Bentegodi on Sunday afternoon to pick up their first points of the season.
After successive defeats in the opening two rounds, the Viola emerged in determined mood and did not need long to leave their mark.
Simeone scored after just two minutes with Thereau and Astori stretching the Viola’s lead soon after.
Veretout made it four after the restart with a stunning free-kick while Gil Dias put the result beyond all doubt late on.
The Viola made a dream start to the contest and needed just two minutes to break the ice. Benassi’s long range strike was spilled by Hellas goalkeeper Nicolas leaving Giovanni Simeone with the easiest of tap-ins. It was a first in Fiorentina colours for ‘El Cholito’ since his summer switch from Genoa.
Moments later and the Viola had their second of the match. Nicolas was at fault again for the hosts, this time bundling down Chiesa inside the box leaving the referee no choice but to award a penalty. Cyril Thereau held his nerve from the spot to double the Viola’s lead and mark his club bow in the best possible fashion.
The Tuscans were rampant and pushed on in search of a third. Simeone was sent through on goal following a neat pass from an inspired Chiesa only to send it narrowly wide of the mark while Veretout had a scorching strike from distance deflected out for a corner.
Hellas were not at the races and Fiorentina piled on the misery as Davide Astori was left free in the box to prod home on a corner kick to make it 3-0 to the visitors with not even 25 minutes on the clock.
Viola shot-stopper Marco Sportiello was rarely tested although he did watch a Giampaolo Pazzini shot fly over the bar from a golden position. But that effort by ‘Il Pazzo’ – making his first start of the campaign – was one of the few occasions created by the Gialloblu who were booed off the pitch by the home fans at half-time.
Staring a second straight home defeat in the face, Fabio Pecchia turned to his bench making a double substitution. On came Romulo as well as teenage talent Kean, fresh from securing a loan move from Juventus, for Souprayen and Ferrari respectively.
The changes appeared to shake Hellas into life and Kean was almost immediately involved winning a corner with a volley from the edge of the box. Kean had another chance on the volley from the resulting corner but the Italy youth international failed to turn it goalwards.
But the Hellas rally was short-lived and on 62 minutes the Viola added a fourth thanks to a stunning free-kick from Jordan Veretout. The Frenchman opened his Serie A account in style with a curling strike into the top left corner leaving Nicolas with no chance.
In complete control, the Viola took their foot off the gas and Sportiello had to be alert to deny Romulo on the volley from a dangerous position. But the Viola hit back and in the closing stages substitute Gial Dias sealed a convincing win for the Tuscans.
- Prior to today, Hellas Verona had never lost a home Serie A game by a 4-goal margin (or more).
- Moreover, the Gialloblu have conceded 5 goals at the Bentegodi in Serie A just twice in their history – both vs Fiorentina (April 2014 and today).
- Fiorentina have scored 5 goals away from home in a Serie A game for the first time since February 1964 (7-1 away win vs Atalanta).
- Giovanni Simeone’s goal after 1:46 min was the fastest for Fiorentina in Serie A since February 2016 (Borja Valero’s after 1:16 min).
- Cyril Théréau has now scored in the opening three Serie A games for the first time in his career.
- The last time that Fiorentina scored 3 goals in the opening 24 minutes of a Serie A game was in September 2015 vs Inter.
- Fiorentina had 8 shots on target in the first half against Verona, their joint most at half-time in a Serie A game since 2005/06.
- Furthermore, the Viola have fired 10+ shots on target in back-to-back Serie A games for the first time since January 2013.
- Jordan Veretout’s goal is the third from direct free-kick in this Serie A season, after Suso’s and Kolarov’s ones.