Kevin Pogorzelski Date: 12th April 2018 at 9:10am
Written by:

Leaving Rome with a valuable three points last Saturday evening grabbed plenty of headlines across Italy, but the fact that Fiorentina have put together a run of six consecutive wins is all the more spectacular given the circumstances in which they have been achieved.

When the Viola embarked upon this winning streak, they sat 11th in the Serie A table, having achieved just one victory since entering 2018 in which Davide Astori had played a vital role in a hard fought win over Chievo.

However, the tragic circumstances in which the Fiorentina captain was taken from the world appears to have united the squad in their quest to honour their teammate in the best possible way – climbing as high as they possibly can in the Serie A table.

The untimely loss of someone close is a difficult one to come to terms with. Those affected can themselves begin to question their own mortality, spiralling into a cycle of self-doubt or alternatively looking to extract every last drop of sweat to achieve their goals.

Back on the pitch just seven days after his passing and fewer after an emotionally charged funeral, Fiorentina supporters would have forgiven them had they wilted under the overwhelming pressure of those first 90 minutes back at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

For the Viola players, it certainly appears that collectively the aim is to make every moment the season, but is also aided by circumstances thrust upon coach Stefano Pioli as far back as August.

As the Serie A campaign approached, Fiorentina had been prized of young talents Federico Bernardeschi and Matias Vecino, whilst plenty of experience walked out the door in the shape of Gonzalo Rodriguez, Borja Valero and friends.  

Fiorentina have the second youngest playing staff in Serie A and the likes of Federico Chiesa, and particularly Giovanni Simeone in recent weeks, have displayed the youthful abandonment needed to overcome such emotional hurdles and powered the team forward.

Maybe lowly Benevento were the ideal opponents, allowed to feel their way back to some sort of normality and claim a a narrow one-goal win, but the resilience and drive witnessed since is notable.

Away victories over Torino, Udinese – the scene, so to speak, of Astori’s death – and Roma are in no way easy to achieve, particularly with supporters permitting the odd stumble as they find their feet.

Expecting the Viola to break the record for consecutive wins – an astonishing 17 recorded by Inter in 2006-07 – would be a very foolish, but suddenly they look favourites for the second Europa League spot previously not in sight.

Just two points behind sixth-placed AC Milan and nine from Milanese neighbours Inter, the latter should have enough in the tank to keep the Viola at arms length, but a stuttering Rossoneri may not and their ascent could yet become more impressive.