Fiorentina vs Lecce 2-2: Comeback Kings Strike Again to Silence Franchi

Fiorentina and Lecce shared the spoils in a breathtaking 2-2 draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday evening. Despite omitting Sofyan Ambrabat from the matchday squad, the hosts were in pole position to maintain a perfect league start. But it wasn’t meant to be. 

Fiorentina enjoyed a dream start to the 2023/24 Serie A season, putting newly-promoted Genoa to the sword on the opening weekend. Vincenzo Italiano’s side ran riot at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to take home an emphatic 4-1 triumph. However, they lost 1-0 at Rapid Wien in midweek Europa Conference League action. 

Tired legs proved no issue as Fiorentina came flying out of the traps through their talismanic No10 Nicolas Gonzalez. Three minutes into the game, the Argentine poked the ball past Lecce goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone to break the deadlock. Reluctant to rest on their laurels, La Viola maintained their pressure. And it paid off. 

Alfred Duncan rose above his marker to meet Arthur Melo’s cross and double the home side’s lead in the 25th minute. Fiorentina seemed to be in complete control of the proceedings as they headed into halftime 2-0 up. However, whatever Roberto D’Aversa told his Lecce players in the dressing room came to fruition after the break.

Only four minutes into the second half, summer arrival Hamza Rafia latched on to Mohamed Kaba’s assistance, putting a delightful first-time effort behind Oliver Christensen’s back. Encouraged by the Tunisian’s strike, Lecce came after an all-important equalizer with vigor and determination. 

Caught off guard by Lecce’s stunning response, Fiorentina lost their footing, allowing the visitors to return from the dead. Second-half inductee Nikola Krstovic froze Artemio Franchi in the 76th minute, heading home Lameck Banda’s cross to level the score. 

After overturning a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat Lazio 2-1 in round one, Lecce thrived in the face of adversity again. Meanwhile, Fiorentina cannot afford this result to derail their morale ahead of a decisive qualifying second-leg clash against Rapid at home. 

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