Is the glass half-full or is it half-empty? This is the conundrum facing Fiorentina supporters after a topsy-turvy match away to bottom of the league Chievo Verona on Sunday. The last two matches have served the optimist camp well, the team having earned four points while performances from Luis Muriel and Federico Chiesa gave encouraging signs regarding a previously stuttering attack.
The side also managed to pull off the win with a makeshift backline, the suspension to Cristiano Biraghi and illness to Nikola Milenkovic meaning that the Coach had to go with the inexperienced David Hancko at left-back, while second-choice Vincent Laurini stepped in on the opposite side.
However, the pessimists among us saw six goals conceded in those two matches, and on both occasions the Viola led fairly comfortable leads slip. They also went down to ten men versus Chievo, just as they had done before, and this previous post discusses the ongoing discipline problems up front.
Stefano Pioli had named Christian Norgaard in front of the defence – ignoring the excellent Bryan Dabo once again – a move that would backfire when the Coach was forced to bring off the Danish midfielder at half-time following a poor showing in the first half. He was replaced by the much more capable Gerson, and it once again took a sending off for Dabo to be introduced, leaving many to wonder why the tactician couldn’t just get it right first time.
Yet away from all the positive and negative aspects that this crazy game threw at supporters of the Tuscan club, there was one man whose showing transcended any puzzlement that the team’s performance could yield.
“Chiesa? I like the fans to appreciate the efforts and the quality of my players,” Pioli revealed to ViolaNews in his post-match press conference. Federico makes up part of the soul of this team.”
Those supporters really did enjoy the performance of Chiesa on Sunday, his often frustrating displays left behind him as he took it upon himself to ensure his side got the result. The 21-year-old demonstrated his clear quality as he fired in two of the four goals on the day, and they weren’t mere tap-ins either.
After he had blasted a superb shot onto the crossbar, the young star then latched onto a through-ball from Dabo, firing in beautifully from a very tight angle. His second came as he managed to keep his balance while running at full pace towards the goal, managing his stride in order to fire in an unstoppable shot to complete his brace.
Chiesa’s current form is wonderful to see, especially after all the struggles faced by the Viola attack in recent times. The signing of Muriel seems to have lifted some of the pressure that was placed upon him, in matches where the winger was the only real creative player on the pitch. That only served to exacerbate his tendency for poor decision making, but now that seems to has eased it stands to reason that the forward will now go from strength to strength.
No matter what else is going on at the club, Federico Chiesa’s improvement in itself is a reason to see that the glass is half-full at Fiorentina.
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