Patrick Cutrone wasted two huge chances, but scored with the last kick of the game, as Fiorentina snatched a point against Hellas Verona after Davide Faraoni’s stunning bicycle-kick.
The Viola had some respite from their dire form with a win at Parma, but the performances remained sluggish and they were held 0-0 by Cagliari midweek. Alfred Duncan sat out a ban, but Gaetano Castrovilli returned after recovering from an ankle problem. The attack was completely transformed, as Federico Chiesa, Patrick Cutrone and Dusan Vlahovic were dropped in favour of Riccardo Sottil and Christian Kouame. Verona were fresh from a fightback to draw 2-2 with Inter, but Fabio Borini, Giampaolo Pazzini and Valentin Eysseric remained on the treatment table.
Hellas were absolutely dominant from the opening minute, pouring forward with cross after cross, corner after corner, until the breakthrough in stunning fashion.
Sofyan Amrabat – who has already been sold to Fiorentina – floated a ball over the top, Davide Faraoni sprung the offside trap, watched it come down over his shoulder and scored an extraordinary flying right-foot bicycle-kick while spinning around mid-air. That’ll go down as one of the goals of the season.
Verona almost got another, Bartlomiej Dragowski needing a one-handed save at the near post on Darko Lazovic, as the only Fiorentina forays forward were Franck Ribery solo runs or a Castrovilli snapshot from distance.
Meanwhile, Hellas carved up the Viola defence with another great team move on the stroke of half-time, Dragowski able to smother the deflected pass before Samuel Di Carmine could pounce.
Fiorentina were being comprehensively out-played, so introduced Federico Chiesa and Patrick Cutrone for the second half. German Pezzella accidentally shinned his clearance directly on to his arm, but that could not be considered voluntary.
There was controversy on 55 minutes when a Viola corner saw the ball headed on to the arm of Matteo Pessina. Despite it being every bit as much handball as many others given over the last few weeks, the referee and VAR did not intervene.
Pol Lirola whipped a cross to the back post for Cutrone’s header, but it somehow went straight up in the air when he was only a couple of yards out, allowing Verona to hoof it clear on the way back down.
Pezzella’s header was also over the bar, as Fiorentina began to pin Verona back in the final stages. Hellas still threatened on the counter and had a goal disallowed because Mariusz Stepinski was offside.
Miguel Veloso could not have gone closer on 85 minutes, his daisy-cutter from the edge of the box clipping the outside of the post.
Castrovilli turned on the magic with some astounding footwork, twisting and turning with the ball at his feet between a crowd of defenders, only for the finish to whistle just wide.
It was a siege in stoppages, Silvestri flapping at a Kouame attempt and Cutrone failing to turn in the rebound.
However, with the last kick of the game, Chiesa’s inspired through ball found Cutrone, who reacted quicker than those around him to dink it over the on-rushing Silvestri from seven yards and equalise.
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