Crotone struck twice in quick succession and then thanked the woodwork as they held out for a surprise 2-1 win over Fiorentina.
The Viola were seeking a fourth consecutive victory, but Cyril Thereau joined Riccardo Saponara on the treatment table, so Valentin Eysseric stepped in. The hosts missed Aleksandar Tonev, Oliver Kragl and Marco Tumminello, but their main problem was the lack of goals scored.
Last season, the Viola won here at the last minute with Nikola Kalinic, drawing 1-1 in Florence.
Daniel Pavlovic’s free kick whistled just wide of the upright and their pressure paid off, as Marcello Trotta burst down the left and rolled across for Ante Budimir to scuff the finish from six yards, his debut Serie A goal.
Just two minutes later, Crotone had doubled their lead thanks to some incredibly static defending from the Viola, as Davide Astori’s error allowed Trotta to add a goal to his assist.
Fiorentina were not waking up, as Andrea Nalini’s header was saved and a Trotta header whistled just over the bar.
Federico Chiesa sparked the comeback, as first he blasted wide from outside the area, then he assisted Marco Benassi for a finish into the far top corner.
In first half stoppages, Astori very nearly scored a comical own goal, as his terrible back-pass surprised Marco Sportiello.
Budimir’s diving header from a Pavlovic set play flew over the bar, but Fiorentina were dominant in the second half and Chiesa’s scorcher of a left-foot volley rattled the crossbar from Jordan Veretout’s cross.
Giovanni Simeone nodded just wide of the near post from a Chiesa assist, as Crotone held out under a late siege.
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