There were a pair of crackers in the midweek round and certainly the clutch comeback by Napoli against Udinese would have been a worthy choice, but the nod has to go to Fiorentina-Lazio, which was simply bonkers.
The Viola approached the game riding an eight-game undefeated streak, while their series of victories was snapped by a nil-nil with Spal in the weekend. The Biancocelesti collected a scoreless draw in the derby and had won the previous two games, against Udinese and Benevento.
Stefano Pioli opted a very offensive-minded lineup, with Federico Chiesa, Valentin Eysseric, Gil Dias and Giovanni Simeone together upfront. Filippo Inzaghi picked Martin Caceres to replace the suspended Stefan Radu and was forced to put in Alessandro Murgia for Marco Parolo due to a last-minute injury. The choices of the coaches would not last long, though.
As a matter of fact, Marco Sportiello was shown a red card after just seven minutes for a handball outside of the box after coming out inconsiderately and Eysseric was taken out to insert the backup goalie Bartlomiej Dragowski. Murgia was expelled few minutes later for a crashing into a streaking Chiesa on a longball. Jordan Veretout buried the ensuing free kick in spectacular fashion.
Inzaghi quickly decided to sub off Stefan De Vrij to put in Felipe Anderson to ignite the comeback and the move ended up being a brilliant one, even though it did not work out immediately. The Gigliati went up two-nil at the 31st minute thanks to a penalty converted again by Veretout after Luiz Felipe tackled Cristiano Biraghi. However, the Eagles managed to come back within a quarter of an hour. First, it was Luis Alberto’s time to bag a remarkable free kick, then Martin Caceres headed the ball in on a corner kick as the first half expired.
The home team went up in the score again ten minutes into the first half, with Veretout completing his hat-trick with an open play goal this time: the midfielder received the ball on the edge of the box, broke Felipe’s ankle with a nasty hesitation move and found the target with a lefty daisy-target. Though, Lazio were not to be denied and levelled again at the 70th minute mark, as Felipe Anderson was abandoned with too much room and time to aim from 20 meters out and precisely smashed one at the bottom right corner.
The guests then finished the three minutes later, with Luis Alberto poking home a low cross by Adam Marusic after a great cut in the box for what turned out to be the game winner. The Viola tried to answer back, but where unsuccessful and Lazio came away with a very gritty and rewarding win, which allows them to stay on par with Roma in the standings, one point above Inter. On the other hand, Fiorentina were surpassed by Atalanta and now share the eight position with Sampdoria in the ever-changing Europa League race.
From the fantasy standpoint, Veretout and Luis Alberto were the stars of the game: the former got 13 points, the latter nine as he also sent in the corner kick for Caceres. The midfielder was the only one to collect points for Fiorentina as there were no assists. Anderson racked up four, Caceres and Marusic two for the feed. Due to the high scoring nature of the game, several defenders ended up costing their fantasy teams some points.
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