STADIO ARTEMIO FRANCHI (Florence) – Fiorentina could only manage a point at home to Parma on Sunday evening and it took a sublime Gaetano Castrovilli header for them to achieve even that.
The Crociati arrived with a clear gameplan as Roberto D’Aversa continued to have his hand forced somewhat by the plague of injuries that has hit the squad this season. It was very nearly executed to perfection too, with the Gialloblu probably returning north feeling they could have taken all three points had they made better decisions in the final third.
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Feeling Franck’s absence
Fiorentina had enough of the ball to win the game on Sunday but they lacked someone who was capable of unlocking a disciplined Parma backline despite the best efforts of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Castrovilli et al.
The suspended Franck Ribery watched on from above the press box at the Franchi, and it was clear that his presence on the pitch was missed.
Things had turned for the Tuscans at home, winning twice on the bounce there, but they’ve now picked up just one point from their last two, either side of their midweek win in Reggio Emilia.
But despite Parma’s stubborn setup, Fiorentina were their own worst enemies at times. Federico Chiesa and Castrovilli, in particular, try to overcomplicate things more often than they need in an attempt to pull off flashy passes rather than just playing more effective and simpler passes.
The No.8 lost the ball with a needless backheeled pass, which Chiesa had done last time out against Lazio just moments after stepping over a cross and letting a chance go to waste when he could have shot himself.
He’s only been in Florence for two months, but Franck Ribery is already the most important player Vincenzo Montella has to call upon.
With a pinpoint cross onto Castrovilli’s head, Dalbert deserves as much credit for La Viola leaving with a point as anyone.
The full-back has been finding his feet in Florence this season after his forgettable time at Inter, and it seems as though the slight step out of the limelight has helped him to no end.
His assist marked his second of the season for Fiorentina, which is already double the number he hit in 24 appearances for the Nerazzurri.
Captain, but Gervinho needs to put Parma first
Gervinho’s opener for Parma was their fourth counterattacking goal of the season – more than any other side in Serie A has managed – and he could have taken that tally to five or six himself, or else allowed one of his teammates to.
But his greed again got the better of him and on at least two occasions he tried to do too much himself when he had better-placed teammates who could have taken the attack on themselves. Yann Karamoh was the first to be ignored, then Dejan Kulusevski.
The Ivorian is at his best when afforded space to run into and Parma’s setup allows them to sit and break through him, but he needs to show more selflessness if D’Aversa’s plan is to be executed as effectively as possible.
With him wearing the captain’s armband in Bruno Alves’ absence, there should perhaps be more of an expectation on him to be a team player, but he appears to be treating it as more reason to try to do everything himself, which ultimately proves costly for the Crociati.