STADIO ENNIO TARDINI (Parma) – Fiorentina picked up their first win in 140 days in Parma on Sunday evening, beating the Crociati 2-1 in a game that was defined by penalties.
La Viola were awarded two in the first half, both of which were dispatched by dead-ball expert Erick Pulgar before Parma had one of their own emphatically scored by Juraj Kucka after he himself was fouled by German Pezzella early int he second half.
The win will be keenly celebrated in Florence. It had started to look as though they might, much like last season, get sucked into the battle against relegation late on and end up sweating for their top-flight survival in the final rounds.
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) July 5, 2020
Three points had been picked up in the previous five rounds though they all came from draws with Udinese, AC Milan and Brescia, which are fixtures they’d have expected to take at least seven points from.
They’ll be quick to point out that they had at least scored in each of their three games since the restart, but one of those came as a last-minute Patrick Cutrone consolation vs Sassuolo, another was a moment of magic from Franck Ribery and the other bundled in by Pezzella from a set piece; their attack hasn’t exactly been inspiring.
In Parma they needed two penalties to breach the Gialloblu’s backline. Lorenzo Venuti crashed one off the crossbar from range, and chances fell their way late on, but the only times they got through on Luigi Sepe were when Bruno Alves and co. were fully committed to helping out in attack in search of an equaliser.
Ribery’s importance to Fiorentina cannot be overstated, but he’s not the same type of player that he was in his younger days.
A lot of his time on Sunday, before going off injured, was spent in a deeper role from where he tried to pull strings and drift around the pitch in search of space.
Federico Chiesa is someone a lot of La Viola fans have pinned their hopes to, but the forward has to do more to justify the hype surrounding him.
His talent can’t be doubted, but his final product and consistency are two serious black marks that hang over him.
With Ribery, Chiesa, Gaetano Castrovilli and Cutrone in their squad, Fiorentina shouldn’t be having any problems in attack.
Whether it’s down to Giuseppe Iachini’s tactics or players’ shortcomings, their forward players need to contribute more.