Gaetano Castrovilli came off the bench and changed the game with Spezia, scoring one goal, assisting Dusan Vlahovic, and sparking another for Valentin Eysseric.

The Viola were two points behind Serie A newcomers Spezia in the table heading into this game and missed star man Franck Ribery, while Gaetano Castrovilli was benched. Vincenzo Italiano’s men were fresh from shock wins over Milan and Sassuolo, despite top scorer M’Bala Nzola, Diego Farias, and Claudio Terzi injuries, plus had Simone Bastoni and Martin Elric suspended here but started ex-Fiorentina flops Riccardo Saponara and Kevin Agudelo.

It was Agudelo who had the first opportunity, sliding in to turn inches wide on a Luca Vignali pull-back, but Riccardo Marchizza was stretchered off in the opening minutes after he was left dazed by an unfortunate Christian Kouame knock to the head.

Cristiano Biraghi had a double chance, the first shot charged down by Vignali and the rebound off goal, while Lucas Martinez Quarta needed a sensational sliding tackle on Nahuel Estevez clear in the penalty area.

A ferocious Matteo Ricci volley from the edge of the box skimmed the upright, but Fiorentina then lost Giacomo Bonaventura to a sprained ankle.

Biraghi remained the most dangerous Viola player in attack with an acrobatic volley over the bar.

The game was modified with the use of VAR, though Fiorentina’s goal was originally disallowed. It took technology to confirm that Castrovilli had somehow managed to hold the ball in play while hooking Biraghi’s cross back from the by-line for Dusan Vlahovic to convert into an empty net.

The Viola threatened another soon after, but Ivan Provedel bravely rushed off his line to smother at Valentin Eysseric’s feet after a Vlahovic counter-attack.

Castroville added a goal to his assist, as Eysseric was prevented from completing a team move by Julian Chabot’s sliding tackle, but the ball came to Castroville to shoot into the roof of the net.

Spezia pinned Fiorentina back into their half, but the hosts were dangerous on the counter, Provedel sticking out afoot to deny Vlahovic on a deflected Castrovilli assist.


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