SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 14 - 30 Nov 2019 (19.45 UK)
Fiorentina 0 - 1 Lecce
La Mantia 49 (L)
Stadio Artemio Franchi

Andrea La Mantia’s diving header proved the difference at the Stadio Franchi, as Lecce earned a surprise victory over struggling Fiorentina.

The Viola are now in crisis mode after one point from four rounds. They missed injured Federico Chiesa and German Pezzella, but Gaetano Castrovilli and Erick Pulgar returned from suspension. Lecce had one defeat in the last six rounds, fighting back from 2-0 down to hold high-flying Cagliari, but Gianluca Lapadula was suspended with Zan Majer, Filippo Falco, Marco Mancosu, Biagio Meccariello and Luka Dumancic out of action. Nonetheless, Khouma Babacar still didn’t get a start against his former club.

The hosts got off to a strong start, Gabriel getting down to palm away a Nikola Milenkovic daisy-cutter, then Pol Lirola’s cross-shot flashed inches past the far post.

Another Lirola assist was let through by Franck Ribery’s dummy, defenders doing just enough to stop Dusan Vlahovic tapping in from close range.

Lecce weathered the early storm and started to play their passing style of football, but Fiorentina threatened again with Lirola’s cross for a Dalbert free header back across the face of goal, skimming the woodwork.

On the stroke of half-time, Ribery was felled by a Panagiotis Tachtsidis sliding tackle and seemed to be in agony, unable to put his foot down. He was helped off the pitch by two medics and replaced for the second half by Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Lecce took a shock lead after the restart, as Andrea La Mantia started and finished the move. Farias flicked it into the box for Shakhov, who knocked it back across from six yards for La Mantia’s diving header.

Fiorentina were shaken, but made an immediate fightback. Within 90 seconds, Vlahovic’s diving header was somehow parried by Gabriel from point-blank range, then the goalkeeper got down brilliantly to fingertip an angled drive round the far post. Milenkovic got his head to a corner, but it flashed wide.

Vlahovic ballooned over the bar from 12 yards, as Dalbert’s low cross took an unfortunate bobble right in front of him.

Babacar came off the bench and should’ve made it 2-0, but he hesitated after Bartlomiej Dragowski came tearing out of his penalty area and fell over the ball, allowing Fiorentina to recover.

Babacar incredibly did it again in the final minute, prodding meekly into the arms of Dragowski after Federico Ceccherini had been caught in possession.

Pedro’s diving header was over the bar, as the Viola fell to another humiliating defeat that now puts immense pressure on Vincenzo Montella’s job.

This result confirmed a bizarre statistic, as Fiorentina have one point from their last seven games against newly-promoted Serie A teams, failing to score a single goal.

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Fiorentina: Dragowski; Milenkovic, Ceccherini, Caceres; Lirola (Ghezzal 54), Castrovilli, Badelj (Pedro 71), Pulgar, Dalbert; Ribery (Boateng 46), Vlahovic
Lecce: Gabriel; Rispoli, Lucioni, Rossettini, Calderoni; Petriccione, Tachtsidis, Tabanelli; Shakhov; Farias (Babacar 56), La Mantia (Vera 77)
Ref: Piccinini