Five things you need to know about Hellas Verona v Fiorentina

Fiorentina travel to Hellas Verona on Sunday afternoon looking to bounce back from defeat to Cagliari last time out and begin a crucial run of fixtures with a win.

Ahead of the game, we’ve put together these five key facts you should know about the fixture.

1)    Hellas Verona and Fiorentina have faced off at the Stadio Bentegodi (and the Stadio Comunale) before it, on 35 occasions in Serie A, Serie B, the Coppa Italia and the old Divisione Nazionale. The Viola have the best of the record so far with 14 wins, ten draws and 11 defeats, plus 46 goals for and 43 against. The first Verona v Fiorentina fixture in the top tier of Italian football took place back on 17 November 1957, ending in a 1-0 win for Fiorentina courtesy of a goal from Francisco Ramon Lojacono. Part of that Verona side were Francesco Rosetta, who had won the Scudetto with Fiorentina two years previously, and Osvaldo Bagnoli, who would lead Verona to Scudetto glory as manager in the 1984/85 season.
2)    Giancarlo Antognoni has an indelible bond with Hellas Verona and the Stadio Bentegodi. It was away at Verona that Antognoni made his debut, on 15 October 1972, in a 2-1 win for the Viola. From the very beginning, it was clear that Antognoni (who, unusually, was wearing the No.8 shirt that day), was going to be some player. Fast forward 15 years to 15 March 1987: Verona and Fiorentina play out a 2-2 draw, with Antognoni scoring what would be the final away goal of his Viola career with a shot from outside the area. Antognoni’s final goal for the club came a month later, at home against Empoli, sticking away the rebound after his initial effort had been kept out from the penalty spot.
3)    Trips to play away at Hellas Verona have seen some of the most memorable goals in Fiorentina history. The first goal worthy of note was scored on 7 November 1976: Antognoni stepped up over a free-kick on the edge of the area, before striking the ball with the outside of his foot to dispatch an arching, serving shot that Verona keeper Franco Superchi was powerless to keep out (Superchi was, incidentally, part of the Fiorentina side that won the Scudetto in 1968/69). The other goal deserving of a mention was scored by Eraldo Pecci on 28 October 1984 – direct from a corner. Fiorentina ended up losing the game 2-1, and indeed Hellas went on to clinch Scudetto glory at the end of the season, but that goal from Pecci – regardless of whether you think it was luck, coincidence or sheer brilliance – will live long in the memory.
4)    The Verona v Fiorentina match on 3 March 2002 will go down in history as the final league victory of AC Fiorentina, before the club went bankrupt a few weeks later. It was a 2-1 win with Domenico Morfeo and Adriano getting the goals for the Viola, while a young Adrian Mutu scored for Verona. In the next nine games, Fiorentina could only manage two draws and seven defeats, finishing the season in penultimate position.
5)    Fiorentina have won their last six matches against Verona at the Stadio Bentegodi, with the most recent victory the 5-0 thrashing on 10 September 2017, when the Viola scorers were Giovanni Simeone, Cyril Thereau (penalty), Jordan Veretout, Gil Dias and the late Davide Astori. It was the last of Astori’s three goals for Fiorentina. The other two both came at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, against Crotone and Inter.

Published: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:59:00 +0100

Source: Fiorentina Official website