Vincenzo Italiano is frustrated that Fiorentina wasted so many scoring opportunities in their 1-0 win over Sivasspor. ‘We were superficial and it could’ve given us a bigger advantage.’
Certainly not for the first time this season, the Viola are left with regrets after wasting numerous scoring opportunities, especially during the first half of their Conference League Round of 16 tie.
Luka Jovic made mistakes, Gaetano Castrovilli saw his acrobatic ‘scorpion kick’ come off the crossbar and Giacomo Bonaventura was denied by a goal-line clearance.
In the end, Antonin Barak was able to fire in a loose ball to give them a 1-0 first leg lead over Sivasspor in this Round of 16, representing their seventh consecutive Conference League victory.
“Above all in the first half, we could’ve taken the lead early and set the game down a different path, but it’s never easy. Sivasspor closed up well, though we created three or four clear opportunities and weren’t clinical enough,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“Never mind, we take this 1-0 lead to Turkey next week, knowing it will be difficult and that we need to put in a different performance in front of goal compared to the one we had tonight.”
With both the early Jovic and Bonaventura chances, they were dinked lobs that tried to be a little too cute.
“We were a bit superficial in the first two opportunities. Barak hit it with such ferocity on the goal, it’s more likely to go in if you put that power behind it,” continued Italiano.
“In those opening 15 minutes, we had two huge chances to open the scoring and that could’ve given us a bigger advantage, because you never know what you’re going to get in the second leg, especially as Sivasspor tend to do better on home turf. We never allowed them a counter-attack today, which is their greatest strength, and have regrets we could’ve had a bigger lead.
“At least our substitutes came on well and once again we got a goal off the bench. It’s never easy in Europe, we have to treasure this 1-0 lead and try to make the most of it. Nothing is to be taken for granted.”
Cristiano Biraghi will be suspended for the second leg, as he received a mysterious yellow card in stoppages that left the captain bemused.
“I honestly didn’t understand what happened. We won’t have him in the second leg and that makes me pretty angry. If he was booked for time-wasting, then he certainly wasn’t doing that, we needed to score another goal and wanted to keep pushing.”
Max Gradel will sit out the second leg with a ban for Sivasspor after his injury time red card for lashing out an elbow on Lucas Martinez Quarta.