Fiorentina vs Milan 4-3: Viola Prevail in Seven-Goal Thriller

It was showtime at the Artemio Franchi Stadium as Fiorentina inflicted Milan their first Serie A loss of the season. The Viola prevailed 4-3 at the end of a thrilling goalfest that saw them take a triple lead, face the Rossoneri‘s “usual” come back and hold on their cushion until the end as Dusan Vlahovic and his idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic engaged in a spectacular battle.

Both strikers scored two goals, but the difference was made by Riccardo Saponara’s sensational screamer just before half time and by the Viola‘s ability to take advantage of Pioli’s boys’ multiple mistakes at the back. That sounds quite ironic considering that Vincenzo Italiano’s side was the one with the biggest problems in defense as Fiorentina were missing both their starting center backs. However, Lorenzo Venuti and Igor Julio made quite a decent job.

Tatarusanu Gift-Wraps Lead to Fiorentina

Zlatan Ibrahimovic should have drawn first blood for the Rossoneri just four minutes after kick off but was rightly caught offside as he whipped the ball into the back of the net from a clinical Theo Hernandez cross. 

It seemed the prelude to a game where Milan could comfortably be in control. Instead, the match at the Artemio Franchi took quite an unexpected turn as Fiorentina found themselves in the lead thanks to a macroscopic gift wrapped by Ciprian Tatarusanu.

The Derby di Milano hero failed to block a harmless cross from the corner kick, allowing Alfred Duncan to push the ball into the empty net. The fun thing is, the Milan goalkeeper couldn’t find anything better to do than yelling at his teammate Matteo Gabbia who, in his view, failed to clear the ball after his mistake.

For a few minutes, Milan appeared shell-shocked. However, Pioli’s troops quickly reorganized themselves and piled up their pressure on the Viola. First, it was Sandro Tonali to take the initiative with shot from outside the box crashed against Pietro Terracciano’s fists.

On 34 minutes, Simon Kjaer picked Rafael Leao with a spectacular long-range pass from his defensive third. The Portuguese starlet did everything right but saw his shot deflected in corner by Igor. Kjaer continued to act as a provider and served Ibra an incredible service but the Swedish giant incredibly missed the target from close range.

Fiorentina, on the other hand, didn’t refrain from attacking despite being in the driving seat. It was two of his former Milan men to be the most dangerous for their former club. First, Giacomo Bonaventura hit the side netting with a tricky shot. Then, Riccardo Saponara powered a vicious goal dell’ex with a formidable giocata – a right-foot curl that ended into the top right corner of the net to earn the Viola a two-goal cushion.

Three Goals in Seven Minutes as Milan Try to Storm Back

After the restart, Leao tried to imitate Saponara with a similar shooting effort, but this one sailed above the crossbar. With no change to the match trend in sight, Stefano Pioli opted for a triple change and sent in Alessandro Florenzi, Olivier Giroud and the returning Junior Messias all at the same time.

Call it a coincidence, but that’s exactly when Fiorentina scored their third and virtually put an end to the game. The Viola‘s goal number three was another one to remember: Dusan Vlahovic caught a pass from Duncan, bested his marker Gabbia (it was a night to forget for the Rossoneri‘s young center back) and dribbled past Tatarusanu to deposit the ball into the net.

It was still not over, though. Bonaventura learned the hard way that you cannot get complacent when Ibrahimovic is around as the Swede pounced on a sloppy pass of his in the build-up and fired the ball past Terracciano to make it 1-3.

Five minutes later, and the gap was reduced to one. Franck Kessié recovered the ball on the midfield line and served Hernandez, who worked his way all along the left flank. The Frenchman’s service in the middle of the box was turned by Zlatan into Milan’s second goal.

Vlahovic Wraps It for Fiorentina Despite Milan Late Goal

The match was now on fire. Hernandez whipped another cross in the box but this time Terracciano managed to prevent Giroud’s tap in. Milan’s hopes, however, suffered a major blow on 79 minutes as Rafael Leao picked up an injury and had to make room for Rade Krunic.

Fiorentina showed no mercy and took advantage of another macroscopic blunder on the Rossoneri‘s part to find the back of the net for the fourth time. Theo Hernandez took a split second too much to leave his defensive third and saw the ball snatched from his feet by substitute Nico Gonzales. Vlahovic received it from his Argentine teammate and slotted it into the bottom left corner of the net.

It was really over now, even though the Rossoneri pulled another one back during stoppage time. When Lorenzo Venuti deflected the ball into his own net from an Ibrahimovic header that had hit the bar, referee Marco Guida was just about to blow for full time.

What’s Next for Fiorentina and Milan

It was a hard hit for Stefano Pioli and Milan, who can only hope their cross-town rivals Inter will manage to block Napoli tomorrow. The Rossoneri face Atletico Madrid on Wednesday with their chances of making it to the Champions League knockout stage being long gone. They should rather focus on their next home game against Sassuolo on Sunday, hoping that their first domestic hit will not affect their morale.

Vincenzo Italiano confirmed to be a Milan nemesis as he had already played a nasty trick on the Rossoneri back in February when he was the Spezia coach. Fiorentina now sit sixth in the table, having reached Lazio at 21 points. Plus, they fully recovered Dusan Vlahovic – who had appeared distracted by the mounting transfer market rumors over the past few weeks. Their next Serie A test will be a regional derby at Empoli on November, 27.



November 20, 2021 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 13

SCORERS: 14′ Duncan (F), 45′ Saponara (F), 59′ Vlahovic (F) 61′ Ibrahimovic (M), 66′ Ibrahimovic (M), 84′ Vlahovic (F), 96′ Venuti (F, o.g.)

FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Terracciano; Odriozola, Venuti, Igor, Biraghi; Bonaventura (69′ Castrovilli), Torreira, Duncan (93′ Maleh); Callejon (69′ Nico Gonzalez), Vlahovic, Saponara (Cerofolini, Rosati, Frison, Terzic, Amrabat, Benassi, Di Stefano, Munteanu, Sottil) Coach: Italiano
MILAN (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Kalulu (57′ Florenzi), Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Tonali (74′ Bennacer), Kessié; Saelemaekers (57′ Messias), Brahim Diaz (57′ Giroud), Rafael Leao (80′ Krunic); Ibrahimovic (Desplanches, Mirante, Ballo-Touré, Romagnoli, Bakayoko, Pellegri) Coach: Pioli

REFEREE: Mr. Guida from Pompei
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Castrovilli (F), Hernandez (M); Added Time: 1st Half: 4′, 2nd Half: 6′