Fiorentina- Match Report vs torino 19/09/20

In the opening game of the Serie A season, Fiorentina edged out Torino with a narrow 1-0 victory. Fiorentina lined up in a 3-5-2 formation while Torino used a 4-3-1-2. The game was played at a fairly low tempo with neither side pressing the other intensely, while frequent breaks in play prevented both sides from finding their rhythm. Chances proved hard to come by in the first half as both sides struggled to break down the opposition defence. Throughout, Fiorentina looked to work the ball out wide and send in crosses but this was to little effect for most of the first half.

The second half was far better from Fiorentina as they really began to dominate the game. Torino spent much of the second 45 pinned in their own half, as Fiorentina pushed up higher. The breakthrough finally came in the 78th minute as Castrovilli turned in a low driven Chiesa cross. Torino showed little fight in the final minutes allowing Fiorentina to see out the game to secure the three points.

This attacking moment graph from Sofascore illustrates Fiorentina’s (green) second half dominance.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Nikola Milenkovic

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Serbian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 12/10/1997
  • Current Club: Fiorentina
  • Career: Partizan, Teleoptik, Fiorentina
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Milenkovic operated as the right centre back in Fiorentina’s back three. He was composed in possession and regularly kickstarted Fiorentina’s attacks with progressive passes into midfield. His passes were consistently accurate and hit with good speed, as a result he finished with an exemplary 96% accuracy. He was adept at both short and long passing, occasionally playing sweeping cross-field balls which regularly found their target.

Positionally, Milenkovic pushed up further than his fellow defenders, well into Torino’s half. In these areas he appeared confident and was able to make positive contributions to the teams play. He got involved in some attacks and would quickly press the opponent when possession was lost or pick up any loose balls. He also has decent pace which allowed him to make these moves forward without being caught out of position.

Defensively he was generally decent, and Torino rarely gave him something to panic about but this is an area which could use some improvement. His positioning was strong and he tended to be in the right place at the right time, allowing him to make six interceptions. Being 6’4 with a broad build Milenkovic is a strong player who does not struggle physically or aerially against attackers.

Although, his defensive style is very aggressive which can cause some problems. In tackles and duels he can be overly committed, at times, resulting in him giving away cheap fouls. During these moments he would use excessive force, while the overuse of his arms was an issue. In total he gave away four fouls, all in the first half, and all avoidable. Had Torino threatened more in the second half he may have given away even more fouls and potentially picked up a second yellow.

Rating – A2

Federico Chiesa

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 25/10/1997
  • Current Club: Fiorentina
  • Career: Fiorentina
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Positions: Left wing, Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Chiesa played on the right side of midfield for Fiorentina and was influential in attack. The lack of width in Torino’s system meant Chiesa had no direct opponent and so was free to take a position higher up the pitch and focus more on his attacking game. When he was required defensively, he formed a sound part of Fiorentina’s block and stuck to his position well. He was competitive in duels, despite having a relatively small frame. In all he competed in 16 duels, winning a modest 7, while aerially he had little action.

With the ball at his feet is where Chiesa excels. He is a skillful dribbler and at only 5’9 has a low centre of gravity allowing him to turn and change direction swiftly. He made great use of body feints and often utilised a drop of the shoulder to beat his man. This, combined with his quick bursts of pace, meant he caused problems for Torino all game. All these skills were clear for his assist as he used a feint and quick acceleration to beat his man before drilling a ball across the face of goal for an easy tap in.

Overall his passing was good and he finished with 84% accuracy along with three key passes. Although, in all his end product was not the best and he wasted good opportunities in the first half with either a lazy or hurried pass. Furthermore, his crossing was average and generally caused little danger with only one being out of five finding a target. He was only able to fashion one shooting opportunity, which he dragged wide. However, it was encouraging to see him use his left foot with regularity and success, which gave him an added edge.

Rating – A2

Chiesa’s heatmap shows he was playing much further up than you would expect from a wide a player in a back formation

Christian Kouame

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Ivorian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 06/12/1997
  • Current Club: Fiorentina
  • Career: Prato, Cittadella (L), Cittadella, Genoa, Fiorentina (L), Fiorentina
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Kouame partnered Bayern legend Franck Ribery up front today for Fiorentina. For much of the game Kouame found himself isolated and received little of the ball. However, he himself did little to gain possession and instead sat on the last man waiting for the ball to arrive to him. Consequently, he was scarcely involved in general play and amassed only 21 touches in 88 minutes, the lowest of any starter. In addition, he completed only six passes which is an incredibly poor return and illustrates how uninvolved he was. His first touch tended to get away from him and so, with the ball at his feet, Kouame provided very few notable moments.

Off the ball he was fairly static, not making any exceptional runs or providing any front press. He preferred instead to cut off passing lanes, which he did to decent effect. Kouame has a fairly slim build and so is not the strongest player, which was clear against Torino’s centre backs who regularly out-muscled him.

Despite this, Kouame did show promise in his aerial game. At 6ft he is not a towering centre forward but he does have a very good jump which gives him an aerial advantage. He won three of the four aerials he competed, which is a good return. Moreover, his only shots of the game actually came from headers. On three occasions he rose highest in the box and could have easily scored, two were met with fine saves while the third was a poor connection from him.

Overall, Kouame had a poor game and was a bystander for much of it, he probably should have scored with one of his headers, which is clearly where he is most dangerous. It would be interesting to see how he performs in a game which is a little more open with more space in behind.

Rating – C

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