Fiorentina and Roma drew 1-1 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday night, with the Giallorossi getting a late equaliser.
Jordan Veretout broke the deadlock with 30 minutes played as he converted from the penalty spot while Alessandro Florenzi equalised on 86 minutes, salvaging a point for Roma.
A very balanced first half saw many chances on both sides and the Giallorossi reacted to Fiorentina’s lead with an effort off the post from a deflected Lorenzo Pellegrini free kick.
The Viola prioritised the counterattack and tried to be dangerous on the break. Cengiz Under, Stephan El Shaarawy and a solid Nicolo Zaniolo tried to light up the Roma attack, whilst a couple of great runs by Federico Chiesa on the counter were Fiorentina’s response.
The second half continued on a similar note, with chances either side. Chiesa was, as usual, Fiorentina’s main threat, and Giovanni Simeone was unable to fire home from close range on 60 minutes after a great run from the Viola winger.
Eusebio Di Francesco brought on Justin Kluivert, Bryan Cristante and Patrick Schick to change things up and the Giallorossi eventually managed to get the equaliser, after a couple of wasted counters for the hosts, with Florenzi making the most of an Alban Lafont mistake.
It wasn’t enough to win, though. Fiorentina wasted the opportunity to climb up the Serie A table, and both teams got their second consecutive draw, the Viola marking their third 1-1 in a row.
The first Serie A start for the Roma youngster was impressive, as he battled in midfield and managed to fight back against Jordan Veretout, one of the best midfielders in Serie A. Zaniolo was physically strong, as well as able to create chances on the break after dispossessing the Viola. A useful presence in the Roma midfield, and one who should be included more often. If Di Francesco gives the 19-year-old consistency, he’ll be very interesting also for the national team.
If only he scored more often he’d be a top world class player. Chiesa is simply Fiorentina’s main man, and against Roma he was literally their only threat up front. He created several chances with amazing runs and was consistent throughout the 90 minutes, even as false-nine, following the substitution of Simeone. The centre-forward struggled yet again, going seven games without scoring and once again missing some clear opportunities. The Argentine needs to do a lot more, and so does Stefano Pioli, whose only tactic seems to be to get the ball to Chiesa and he’ll sort it.
The purple wall
Roma had some chances and did score a goal. But this changes nothing on the evaluation of a fantastic performance by the Fiorentina centra halves, captain German Pezzella and Vitor Hugo. They were on point in every tackle and clearance, despite sometimes not being perfect on the ball. They annihilated Edin Dzeko, gave no space to El Shaarawy and Under and fought until the very end.