SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 26 - 25 Feb 2018 (14.00 UK)
Fiorentina 1 - 0 Chievo
Biraghi 6 (F)
Stadio Artemio Franchi

A ferocious Cristiano Biraghi strike in the opening minutes proved enough, as Fiorentina held out to squeeze past Chievo.

The Viola were without a home win in almost three months and fans continued to protest their poor form. Milan Badelj and Nikola Milenkovic sat out bans for the hosts, but Vincent Laurini returned to the back four. Chievo finally ended their dismal run of two points in two months with a hard-fought victory over Cagliari, but Emanuele Giaccherini – who scored in that game – was out injured with Valter Birsa, so Lucas Castro took over as trequartista.

The 2-1 victory Chievo enjoyed back in October was their first win over Fiorentina since a 2-1 at the Stadio Franchi in April 2012, ending a run of 10 defeats and a draw in all competition.

Play was made difficult by icy winds and Cristiano Biraghi tried to take advantage with his two powerful strikes from the edge of the area. The first was beaten away by Stefano Sorrentino, the second arrowed into the top corner where it was simply unstoppable.

Davide Astori’s header was over the bar from six yards on a corner, but Chievo lost Alessandro Gamberini to an injury.

Riccardo Meggiorini sprung the offside trap after the restart, but his angled drive clipped the outside of the far post.

Marco Benassi thought he had doubled Fiorentina’s lead, but he was caught offside as he nodded in a flicked-on corner at the back post.

Marco Sportiello got down to turn an Ivan Radovanovic daisy-cutter round the base of the near post and Giovanni Simeone had the chance to secure the game with a diving header on Federico Chiesa’s counter, but it was too close to the goalkeeper.

Fiorentina were increasingly pinned back in the final stages with desperate defending on a series of corners, but were dangerous on the counter again with Sorrentino denying Jordan Veretout from close range and Dario Dainelli charging down a Gil Dias attempt.

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Fiorentina: Sportiello; Vitor Hugo, Pezzella, Astori, Biraghi; Cristoforo (Dabo 70), Veretout, Benassi; Chiesa (Gil Dias 88), Simeone, Falcinelli (Thereau 88)
Chievo: Sorrentino; Cacciatore, Gamberini (Dainelli 44), Bani, Jaroszynski; Bastien (Meggiorini 46), Radovanovic, Hetemaj (Pellissier 81); Castro; Pucciarelli, Inglese
Ref: Abisso