Serie A Game of the Week – Round 23: Bologna vs Fiorentina


The last Serie A round had a rather uninspiring slate and the weekend unfortunately lived up to the low expectations. One of the two games with the most goals, not all scored all by the same team, was Bologna-Fiorentina, which was pretty intense and had three spectacular scores.

Both teams approached the game looking to redeem themselves: Bologna had lost four times in their last six fixtures and had won only once in four home games, while Fiorentina had failed to win in four straight matches and were coming off two extremely disappointing performances against Verona and Sampdoria, where they gave up a total of seven goals.

With his star winger Simone Verdi sidelined by a muscular injury, Roberto Donadoni tweaked his system and put Blerin Dzemaili in as attacking midfielder behind Rodrigo Palacio and Mattia Destro, instead of deploying Federico Di Francesco or the newcomer Riccardo Orsolini wide right in his usual 4-3-3. Stefano Pioli picked Gil Dias over Cyril Thereau and replaced the suspended German Pezzella with the youngster Nikola Milenkovic.

This game will be remembered for two very peculiar goals, directly from corner kick, within three minutes from each other at the end of the first half. First Jordan Veretout surprised Antonio Mirante with a fantastic trajectory that died on the far post, hit Antonio Mirante and went in. Then Erick Pulgar beat Marco Sportiello by surprising him on the first post again on a right-footed corner kick from the left side of the attacking team. The goalkeeper basically punched it in this time. It is rare to see one “Olympian” goal in a season, let alone two in the same game. Unfortunately for Veretout, it looks like only Pulgar will be awarded one as the first was ruled an own goal by Mirante by the League.

After the salvo, the game proceeded at a decent rhythm, but both teams had some difficulties in mustering convincing offensive sequences. As it often happens, the match was won by an outstanding individual play: at the 71th minute, Federico Chiesa was at the receiving end of a nice through ball by Milan Badelj, juked Filip Helander with a swift move, put Sebastien De Maio’s backside to the ground with another hesitation and rocked the net with a lefty boot from close range.

From the fantasy perspective, Veretout and Chiesa collected four points for the score, Badelj two for the assist for the Viola, while Pulgar got three for his goal, but he was also booked.

Fiorentina gained two points on the sixth-seeded Sampdoria, but they still have a long way to go before concretely challenging for the Europa League, as they are seven points behind and there are a bunch of other teams in front of them. On the other hand, Bologna are in no man’s land in the standings.

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