Federico Chiesa snatched a point from SPAL, but Fiorentina were fortunate not to fall at the Stadio Mazza.
It was an emotional moment for SPAL Coach Leonardo Semplici, a lifelong Fiorentina fan, who got to face his beloved club in the top flight. The timing was good too, as the Viola went into the international break off the back of two consecutive defeats, also missing injured Cyril Thereau, Milan Badelj and Vincent Laurini. The hosts were without Mirco Antenucci, Alex Meret and Filippo Costa.
Nearly half a century has passed since the last time these two teams took to the field against each other, with SPAL reporting a 2-0 victory in May 1968.
Federico Chiesa had the ball in the net, but only after Gil Dias had been flagged offside in the build-up.
SPAL took a surprise lead on the stroke of half-time, as Federico Viviani’s free kick was nodded on to the upright by Dias Felipe and Alberto Paloschi turned in the rebound.
It was almost 2-0 moments later, but Marco Sportiello rushed off his line and was able to push the ball off the foot of Marco Borriello, Federico Mattiello firing the follow-up off target.
Stefano Pioli threw on striker Khouma Babacar and Federico Chiesa tried to do it all himself, dribbling between four defenders down the left flank only for his shot to flash across the face of goal and skim the far top corner.
SPAL thought they’d made it 2-0 on 58 minutes when Paloschi put the ball in the back of the net, but he was offside before beating Sportiello one-on-one.
Chiesa did get the equaliser when he ran on to a Giovanni Simeone assist and blasted into the near top corner.
SPAL went down to 10 men in stoppages, as Marios Oikonomou took down Chiesa for his second yellow card, but they held out under a late Viola siege.
Sent off: Oikonomou 91 (S)