Fiorentina succeeded in salvaging a 2-2 draw against rival Serie A team, Empoli, this past Sunday. The clash between the two teams was hosted by the Gigliati, as it took place at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Fiorentina are positioned higher than Empoli and currently share the second place in the Serie A, together with Napoli. Both teams have an equal number of 28 points. Empoli, on the other hand, are way behind in the standings table, with a total of 15 points.
However, the Gigliati were close to altogether losing the game against Empoli, as the latter were leading with two goals in the first half-time. Fiorentina attempted to catch up with their rivals, but failed to score before the end of the half.
The game’s first goal was scored by Empoli’s striker, Marko Livaja, and was then followed by another one, this time netted by Marcel Büchel. Büchel joined Empoli this summer, but has already demonstrated his excellent skills and technique on the pitch.
Nevertheless, the Gigliati managed to compensate for their rivals’ lead. In the second half of the match, things took turn for the better, when Fiorentina’s substitute, Nikola Kalinic, netted two unexpected goals. The first one was scored by the Croatian forward in the 56th minute of the game. The player effortlessly received a pass from Marcos Alonso.
Then, Kalinic proceeded with his excellent performance and netted the equaliser. Just four minutes after his first score, Kalinic managed to turn in Khouma Babacar’s pass, sending the ball into the net. The Croatian was extremely close to striking a third goal in the 78th minute, but the ball only rattled the crossbar of Empoli’s Lukasz Skorupski. Neither one of the two teams, managed to gather enough strength to regain their lead.
Nevertheless, Kalinic helped Fiorentina retain their high position, as the Gigliati share the second place with Napoli. After the end of the derby, Fiorentina’s coach, Paulo Sousa admitted he regrets his choice of starting line-up players. He revealed that before the game started, he was convinced he had opted for the best line-up, but changed his opinion, once he reviewed the first half-time of the match.
Despite the difficult start, Sousa is extremely pleased with the performance of his team in the second half of the derby. The head coach shared he is confident in the quality of his team’s play, and was especially overjoyed by the agility Kalinic demonstrated towards the end. Sousa finished by stating there is still room for improvements.