Serie A Match of the Round – Fiorentina vs Inter

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The most anticipated game in a pretty weak round turned out to be the most dramatic, even excessively so. Fiorentina came into the fixture having won just two of their last six matches, but never losing in that stretch, while Inter were coming off two wins in a row, which allowed them to get out of sticky patch.

Looking ahead at the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, Stefano Pioli initially rested both Nikola Milenkovic, who was also a little under the weather, and especially Luis Muriel, trotting out both Vincent Laurini and Federico Ceccherini in the back and Giovanni Simeone up front. Luciano Spalletti confirmed his usual Mauro Icardi-less attack with Matteo Politano and Ivan Perisic sandwiching Lautaro Martinez and picked Dalbert over Kwadwo Asamoah at left back.

The game exploded right away as, in the first minute, Federico Chiesa shook free down the right flank on a long ball, sent in an accurate low cross that was diverted in the net by both El Cholito and Stefan De Vrij. However, it took the Nerazzurri just five minutes to knot the game up, as, after a corner kick, Radja Nainggolan lobbed it back towards the box and Matias Vecino beat an imperfect Alban Lafont with a flying deflection.

La Viola controlled the pace for the majority of the first half, but without generating good chances and, out of the blue, at the 40st minute, Matteo Politano wiggled free just outside of the box and rifled it in the bottom right corner. Ivan Perisic missed a good chance before the end of the first half, blasting it over the bar from advantageous position.

The Croatian winger did get his goal at the 52nd minutes, but from the penalty spot, after a handball by Edimilson Fernandes on a long free kick. Pioli looked for some offence out of his bench and subbed in Muriel and Marko Pjaca.

Fiorentina cut into the lead with a powerful strike by Cristiano Biraghi, but it was disallowed because of a foul by Muriel on Danilo D’Ambrosio that was trying to clear the ball. It was just a matter of time though, because at the 74th minute the Colombian forward, assisted by the strong wind, fired a spectacular free kick from thirty meters out in the top corner.

The Gigliati kept pushing, with Chiesa leading the charge as per usual, and were awarded a controversial penalty deep into the stoppage time, with a dubious touch by D’Ambrosio that was ruled a handball by the referee. Jordan Veretout kept his aplomb through the third VAR review of the night and equalized the contest at the 101st  minute.

Fiorentina remain undefeated in 2019 and are two points out the sixth spot occupied by Lazio, Atalanta and Torino, while Inter, who are still third, have now a slim lead over Milan and Roma. In the fantasy game, the goal scorers Jordan Veretout, Luis Muriel, Matias Vecino and Ivan Perisic accumulated four points, Mattia Politano lost one due to a yellow card, while Nainggolan picked up one for the assist.

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