Fiorentina 1-1 Inter: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Late Vlahovic Stunner Denies Nerazzurri

A late stunner from Dusan Vlahovic ensured Fiorentina stole a point against Inter on Sunday, denying the visitors top spot in Serie A in the process.

Inter grabbed an early lead when Borja Valero showed neat footwork inside the penalty area before firing past goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dr?gowski at the Pole’s near post.

Fiorentina pressed well at times during the first half yet could have been two goals down when Lautaro Martinez threaded in another, only for Romelu Lukaku to be adjudged offside in the build-up.


Inter were out-shot by their hosts as their pair of in form strikers failed to put daylight between the two teams, and were eventually punished when Vlahovic stormed away down the left before sending a whipped shot up and over Samir Handanovic from an acute angle in the 92nd minute.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Dragowski (6); Milenkovic (6), Pezzela (6), Caceres (6); Lirola (5), Pulgar (5), Badelj (6), Castrovilli (6), Dalbert (6); Boateng (6), Chiesa (5).

Substitutes: Vlahovic (7*), Benassi (5), Eysseric (5).


Key Talking Point

Following ?Juventus’ victory over Udinese on Sunday, Inter knew a positive result would put them back on top of Serie A.

Antonio Conte

Given how Inter have fared at Fiorentina in recent years – failing to win at Stadio Artemio Franchi in the league since 2014 – it was somewhat surprising to see Diego Godin dropped to the bench in favour of 20-year-old Alessandro Bastoni.

Fiorentina aren’t short on attacking options. Federico Chiesa is one of Europe’s most sought after forwards and the mercurial Kevin-Prince Boateng can pull a good performance out of the hat every now and then. La Viola certainly weren’t deprived of decent crossing opportunities throughout the game, either.

However, alongside Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar as part of Antonio Conte’s back three, Bastoni was more than assured. It also probably helps a fair bit as a young defender having a goalkeeper like Samir Handanovic behind you, too.

The late equaliser certainly put a dampener on the performance, and Conte will know his side need to be more clinical to ensure they don’t drop points in a similar game in the future.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Handanovic (7); Skriniar (7), De Vrij (7), Bastoni (8); D’Ambrosio (7), Vecino (7), Brozovic (7), Valero (9*), Biraghi (7); ?Lukaku (6), Martinez (6).

Substitutes: Politano (5), Agoume (5), Godin (N/A).

STAR PLAYER – Borja Valero has graced ?Serie A with his fleet-footedness and silky dribbling for the last seven years or so, but his spot in Inter’s squad under Conte was in question at the start of the season.

Borja Valero

However, a few injuries in central midfield have opened the door for the Spaniard again, with his appearances increasing over the past three or four weeks, and on Sunday he gave a timely reminder that even at 34 he still deserves a spot in the Nerazzurri side.

His driving run down the left opened up space for teammate Cristiano Biraghi before the former West Brom (!) and Villarreal man received a pass from Marcelo Brozovic, cutting back on to his right foot and firing in at the near post. Very nicely done.

Neither Stefano Sensi nor Nicolo Barella are expected to be available for Inter’s next game, but it’ll be comforting for Conte to know he has players who are able to step in and perform when the squad is depleted by injuries.


Looking Ahead

Fiorentina will be back in action on Friday night, when they host fourth placed Roma. ?Inter face Genoa before the winter break, with the two teams set to return on Monday 6 January.


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