Serie A: Fiorentina Hold Strong at Home to Move into Top Four

Vincenzo Italiano secured his 150th win in his 330th match as a senior-level manager as his Fiorentina side moved into the top four of Serie A with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over mid-table Torino.

Both teams came into this contest on four-game unbeaten runs in Serie A, and although the visitors have found it tough on the road this season, they began with great purpose at Stadio Artemio Franchi, particularly targeting Fiorentina’s left flank, with Raoul Bellanova proving a useful outlet. However, Torino struggled to turn that attacking intent into lots of meaningful chances, seriously testing Pietro Terracciano for the first time on 25 minutes when Duván Zapata’s powerful header from Samuele Ricci’s pinpoint free-kick was clawed away.

Soon afterwards, Lucas Beltrán – who bagged the winner in both of Fiorentina’s last two matches – nearly made an impact at the other end. He must have thought there was a great opportunity to get a shot off, only for the ball to be excellently nipped off his toes by Ivan Ilić, as the striker prepared to pull the trigger. Terracciano was then called into action again, getting down superbly to deny Valentino Lazaro from close range, before Vanja Milinković-Savić had to be alert to smother Jonathan Ikoné’s effort, after Adrien Tamèze’s slack pass was intercepted by the Ivory Coast international in a dangerous area.

Italiano’s opposite number Ivan Jurić blinked first when it came to substitutions, bringing on Karol Linetty and Antonio Sanabria for Ricci and Pietro Pellegri on 62 minutes, before Italiano decided to replace Beltrán and Arthur Melo with M’Bala Nzola and Rolando Mandragora. In an encounter played at a decent pace, there were few signs that the deadlock might be broken, with Cristiano Biraghi’s hopeful strike from distance the best chance of the second period heading into the final 10 minutes of normal time.

However, it was after the clock hit 83’ that Luca Ranieri produced a perfectly guided header from Michael Kayode’s cross, sending the ball into Milinković-Savić’s bottom right-hand corner to spark bedlam in Florence. Thanks to that late drama, Fiorentina have now made it six straight home wins in all competitions for the first time since December 2021, leapfrogging rivals Bologna, who travel to Udinese on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Torino remain stuck in 10th after that late sucker punch.

 Man of the Match: Pietro Terracciano (Fiorentina)

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