The fine folks at Viola Nation have been great sports about this matchup all week long, with plenty of collaboration between the sites mixed in among varyingly friendly banter. They've even been graceful in losing, and we all know that can be a rarity for fans to show. We took one last chance to chat with their managing editor, Chloe Beresford, before the depression and anguish of defeat and their impending tumble from the top of the table could set in, and here's what she had to say.
The Siren's Song: After a cagey first half, the second half saw Napoli score right away and had a much different overall complexion before Napoli ultimately won. What do you think was the key to the end result?
Viola Nation: Napoli turned up the tempo straight from the second half kick off and shocked Fiorentina. After that close first half, Napoli passed the ball quickly and broke up Fiorentina's possession and midfield press with their intensity. Although Fiorentina showed resilience in their response, Napoli remained firmly in control and responded well themselves once Kalinic equalized. Napoli showed their quality and deserved the win.
TSS: Who was the man of the match for each team in your mind?
Rival Q&A with Fiorentina blog Viola Nation
Another big match is coming up, so we have another question and answer session with a writer in the know.
VN: It had to be Gonzalo Higuain for Napoli. Although he missed a couple chances, he looked consistently dangerous and his goal was a perfect illustration of what a quality striker he is.
For Fiorentina, it was definitely Nikola Kalinic. He took his goal superbly well and also showed some wonderful touches along the way. It was a shame that the rest of the team couldn't get him on the ball more often as he clearly has more goals in him
TSS: Where do Fiorentina go from here?
VN: The key for Fiorentina will be to quickly learn some defensive lessons from this game and to bounce back quicky. We have Europa League match midweek and another tough Serie A match next weekend, so it will be important for Sousa to lift the players back up quickly to avoid a major loss of confidence.
Thanks again to Chloe and the whole team at Viola Nation. They do fantastic work covering Fiorentina, and have been great sports through the whole buildup and matchday for this game. Good luck to them the rest of the season -- just as long as that good luck has them finishing a point behind Napoli in the table.