Fiorentina made it too easy for Inter


Antonio Conte suffered in the stands of the Franchi as he witnessed his side miss two easy chances in the first minutes of the game.

The coach was serving the second of a two-match ban and had been urging his players to be more clinical as they have thrown away too many points over the last few weeks.

When Bartłomiej Drągowski stopped a Nicolò Barella shot from point-blank range, Conte must have thought: ‘Well, here we are again.’

His grimace turned into a smile when the former Cagliari man put the Nerazzurri ahead with a curling effort into the far post from the edge of the box after 31 minutes.

The Italy international once again proved he is the best Italian midfielder at the Artemio Franchi. The quality of his performance went beyond his fabulous goal. Everything he did was right. With and without the ball.

Inter dominated the game, Fiorentina came close to scoring the equaliser twice with Jack Bonaventura and Cristiano Biraghi who were denied by Samir Handanovic.

The Slovakian made up for the mistake he made against Juventus in the Coppa Italia earlier this week and allowed the Nerazzurri go in at the interval a goal to the good.

Cesare Prandelli thought he could create problems for Inter and opted to put one more striker on in the second half as Christian Kouamé replaced Borja Valero who had failed to have any impact on the game.

Fiorentina, however, found themselves unbalanced after the substitution and not only did they fail to create any goal scoring opportunities in the second half, they also left too much space for Inter’s counter attacks.

Achraf Hakimi and Ivan Perisic were dominant on the flanks.

Lorenzo Venuti and Cristiano Biraghi somehow managed to control the Inter wingers in the opening 45 minutes, but they literally collapsed in the second half.

The Nerazzurri always managed to play through Fiorentina’s pressure in the middle of the park thanks to Marcelo Brozovic and Roberto Gagliardini who had replaced Arturo Vidal during the half time break.

Inter’s second goal came less than 10 minutes into the second half and it was only a matter of time.

Hakimi set up the Croat who won’t score many easier goals in his career. Dragowski made at least three more saves to keep Fiorentina alive.

A Romelu Lukaku goal was ruled out for an off-side and luckily for Fiorentina the Belgian took a night off at the Franchi.

The Tuscans would have needed a perfect performance to recover from two goals down and claim a point, but the only thing they could do was serve Dusan Vlahovic and Kouamé with long balls they never managed to control.

New signings Aleksandr Kokorin and Kevin Malcuit made their Fiorentina debut after 73 minutes and at least managed to put some pressure on Inter’s defence, but Fiorentina will surely need more than this if they want to guarantee their survival sooner rather than later.

Inter never gave the impression they could drop points in Florence where they had won the last Serie A game back in February 2014 thanks to goals from Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi.

Their victory against Fiorentina was the natural consequence of a solid performance. Conte’s side will now enjoy a couple of days at the top of the Serie A table, waiting for Milan’s home clash against Crotone on Sunday.

They are probably the favourites to win the Serie A title this season, but Fiorentina should have done much more to cause problems for them.


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