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Fiorentina 0 - Roma 1: Better Late Than Never

Gabriele Maltinti

Apologies for the brevity of this, but I was severely distracted throughout and the only thing which could make me perk up was the inclusion of Rodrigo Taddei. Tears.

Arguably the best news of the day didn't require watching the game: Zeman's ability to adapt tactics to the needs and wants of the situation. The 3-4-3 probably sent Vincenzo's Harry Potter glasses twirling when lineups were announced, and nobody would complain with Marquinhos, Castan and Burdisso being run out on a weekly basis - despite the assistance of the woodwork on several occasions, that's a damn wall - hell, throw in a moat, too - when on its game.

At the very least, it's another trick in the bag, and one can never have too many - particularly when the club is so @#$%ing card-happy as this one. Though Rizzoli gets roughly a -12 on the day, as usual. If he were ever in an Old West shootout, his trigger finger would send that bullet into his thigh.

Mattia Destro was, once again, phenomenal off the ball - this time, however, he finished a chance. But let's be honest: I'm well into the pro-Destro camp based on his colossal talent (I like to think it's because I have working vision), but had he fluffed that one, six inches from dead center of the net, I would've taken a pipe wrench to his Rihanna-loving noggin and personally dragged him Fred Flinstone-bringing-home-dinner-style all the way back to Genoa. Twas as much Miralem Pjanic's goal as his, so finishing up on his finishing is still on the to-do list. But dear Francesco is he gifted.

All of this is made even easier to assess without having really seen much of the match by one thing: this is likely a one-off based on lack of options and opposition. Unless Zeman sees this as the solution to the clear midfield issues this club has been having. In which case, Walter Sabatini better start earning his paychecks, because Alessio Romagnoli as the sole backup is all sorts of frightening.


  • Still awaiting Jonatan Lucca's debut (and the ability to start using the nickname Boy Band). There's nothing better to watch on a pitch than tall, elegant playmakers. (Yoann Gourcuff back before his career plummeted off the cliffs was magnificent to watch.) This seemed his one opportunity to net some minutes, but the scoreline didn't play kind, so it was Rodrigo Taddei, arguably the anti-Boy Band.
  • Marquinho would, recalling his YouTubers from the days when he was simply a transfer rumor, seem to be a decent fit for a midfield flank in a 3-4-3. Alas, he went all llama and thus he'll be shipped off to a destination approved by all three parties involved.
  • If you've noticed Zeman's quotes pertaining to Mattia Destro, there's something interesting happening:

    - When Mattia was missing sitters like he was allergic, Zeman would note his performance elsewhere, seeming to focus on that portion.
    - When Mattia finally scores - the winner - he focused on the fact he could've score more.

    Who needs Enrique's psychologist, eh?
  • Roma, while victorious under the 3-4-3, was incredibly lucky, given Fiorentina's remarkable affinity for some wood.
  • Fiorentina also had a remarkable affinity for being assholes, which is seemed to have disappeared when Adrian Mutu went to, well, wherever the hell Adrian Mutu went. The Dodo-Cuadrado debacle was the fault of both parties, but there were some extracurriculars gone unseen, such as this one from Gonzalo Rodriguez (check the right knee - purposeful dead leg)

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  • This now means 3 games against Inter in 9 days, along with a gem of a distraction against Bologna thrown in the middle. This would be a half-decent time to get some people healthy, figure out a working midfield situation, and allow 2013 Erik Lamela to channel 2012 Erik Lamela.
  • Daniele De Rossi.