SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 32 - 15 Apr 2018 (11.30 UK)
Fiorentina 0 - 0 Spal
Stadio Artemio Franchi

Fiorentina wasted too many chances and were pegged back by SPAL to end their six-game winning streak, the visitors are now unbeaten in seven.

The Viola had won six on the bounce, their best run since the 1960s, which put them right back in contention for European places. SPAL, on the other hand, were trying to clamber out of the drop zone, but missed Jasmin Kurtic, Pasquale Schiattarella, Alberto Grassi, Marco Borriello, Boukary Drame and Stefan Simic. It was a very special fixture for Spallini Coach Leonardo Semplici, who is from Florence and a self-confessed fan of the club.

This week, Fiorentina further cemented their eternal bond with captain Davide Astori, as player Cristiano Biraghi, members of staff and even Coach Stefano Pioli got tattoos of his initials and shirt number: #DA13

The hosts had a strong start, Alex Meret twice tested by Riccardo Saponara in the opening five minutes, but there was controversy on 10 minutes when the referee awarded SPAL a penalty as Dias Felipe went down in a crowd of players. However, after viewing it on VAR, he saw that Vitor Hugo got the ball and changed his mind.

Immediately, Chiesa flew down the right and rolled across for Giovanni Simeone, who failed to get the tap-in. Saponara also had a shot deflected over from a tricky angle, while Manuel Lazzari and Chiesa crosses wreaked havoc.

Cristiano Biraghi’s scorching strike was beaten away at the near post and Alex Meret needed a desperate save to palm the Chiesa screamer out from the near top corner.

Moments later, Chiesa volleyed a ball across the face of goal for Simeone, who sliding in just couldn’t get there for the tap-in. Nikola Milenkovic couldn’t keep his free header on target from a Biraghi free kick.

Mirko Antenucci ran on to a Lazzari through ball, but couldn’t pull it back properly for substitute Alberto Paloschi.

Valentin Eysseric came off the bench and made an immediate difference, with two efforts across the face of goal and a corner nodded over the bar by German Pezzella.

Lazzari should’ve done better on a dangerous cross from the right and Federico Mattiello went off injured.

Fiorentina wasted another massive chance, as Diego Falcinelli managed to turn between defenders and roll it across for Biraghi, who blasted over with his left foot.

Viviani tested Marco Sportiello with a free kick and Felipe couldn’t turn in the rebound, then SPAL’s corner turned into a Viola counter and Gil Dias forced Meret to deflect with his ankle at the near post.

Gil Dias used his pace and footwork to again tear the defence to pieces, but this time drilled inches wide of the upright with Meret beaten.

There was another attempt in stoppages, Pezzella blasting over, as Fiorentina saw their run of six consecutive victories ended, but SPAL extended the unbeaten streak to seven rounds.

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Fiorentina: Sportiello; Milenkovic, Vitor Hugo, Pezzella, Biraghi (Gil Dias 79); Benassi, Veretout, Dabo; Saponara (Eysseric 65); Chiesa, Simeone (Falcinelli 65)
Spal: Meret; Cionek, Vicari, Felipe; Lazzari, Everton Luiz, Viviani, Vitale, Costa (Mattiello 46) (Schiavon 70); Antenucci, Floccari (Paloschi 56)
Ref: Orsato