Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessmann were the only Americans in action in Italy over Easter weekend, teaming up in the Venezia midfield as the team plunged closer to a return to Serie B.
Fiorentina 1 – 0 Venezia FC
With remaining opportunities to fight their way out of the relegation zone disappearing, Venezia didn’t do themselves any favors on Saturday, putting in an anemic offensive performance in a surprisingly narrow shut-out by Fiorentina.
Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessmann both took up starting positions in Venezia’s midfield. Tessmann had the shorter afternoon of the two, departing after in the 56th minute in favor of Mattia Aramu, after completing 9 of 13 passes amidst 22 total touches, while making three clearances and winning two of his five duels.
Busio played 87 minutes and was more involved than his fellow countryman, with 34 total contacts, 19 of 24 passing, and hitting three of his five accurate long-ball attempts.
Venezia never had a chance to push through to score and were lucky to only lose by a single goal. Fiorentina held 69% of possession, outshot their visitors by a 22-3 margin, however only managed to convert one of their four close calls in front of goal.
Jonathan Ikoné nearly put his team ahead in the 17th minute when his shot from the right bounced off the far post, but they broke through at the half-hour with the winner.
After a free kick was sent just wide of the far post from the right flank, Fiorentina defender Igor prevented it from crossing the touchline, hitting it back in front of goal into a crowd of players. In the ensuing melee, the ball rattled around, at one point taking a deflection off of Tessmann’s thigh on the goal-line, and finally landed at the foot of Lucas Torreira for a short poke over the line for the 1-0 winner.
The hosts were dealt a costly blow late in the game, when midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli was stretchered off in the 77th minute with what turned out to be a dislocated knee.
With 17th-place Cagliari coming up surprise winners over Sassuolo on Saturday, Venezia are now six points in the hole with six games left, although with a game in hand in comparison to their direct competitors.
They will have a tough time in their next outing on Saturday against Atalanta, who have already won both of their previous meetings this season in league and cup play by a combined 6-0 margin.
Weston McKennie is still recovering from a foot injury and was not available for the 1-1 home draw by Juventus against Bologna.
Anthony Fontana will be looking for his European debut on Monday when Ascoli visits Parma.
Andrija Novakovich will return to the Frosinone roster on Monday when the team visits Ternana.