Gianni Vio: A Career in Set-Pieces (Part 4)

Set Piece Analysis
Stuart Reid

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Stuart Reid

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Fiorentina 12/13

Part 1: Catania during the 07/08 + 08/09 seasons
Part 2: Catania during the 09/10 + 10/11 seasons
Part 3:  Catania during the 11/12 season.

Vs Novara – 18th August 2012 (free kick)

An interesting variation on the usual “Vio screen”. One player obstructs the goalkeepers vision from each side of the wall with 2 other players close by. Just before the kick is taken all the near players rush into the wall distracting the wall and obscuring the goalkeepers vision for just enough for the ball to fly into the net.

Vs Bologna – 7th October 2012 (corner)

Vio toys with creating numerical superiority in the box by putting an extra player next to the corner taker. This requires the defending team to place 2 men out wide (otherwise they’ll be faced with a 2 vs 1) – giving an advantage to the attacking team who are only “sacrificing” one extra player (due to the kick taker always having to be there anyway). The corner is played in but the initial header is lacking power, but as always Vio’s spacing and positioning of players is superb and there’s someone on hand to poke home from close range.

Vs Chievo – 21st October 2012 (corner)

Despite deploying a zonal marking defensive system, it’s easily undone by the runner by the goalkeeper pretending to run across for the short, this drags a couple of the players out of the 6-yard box weakening the 6-yard box area for the oncoming runners.

Vs Cagliari – 4th November 2012 (corner)

Again we see the numerical superiority aspect come into play and it pays off, with a header directly from the corner due to Cagliari only able to commit 7 players into the box to defend against Fiorentina’s 6.

Vs Cagliari – 4th November 2012 (corner)

For the second time in the game Vio triumphs. A very interesting corner in terms of movement. 2 players run to the near post dragging their markers, another player runs outside of the box – dragging his marker and obscuring the view of the remaining defender as the Fiorentina player on the edge of the box makes a looping run to attack the far post (another classic Vio technique) completely unmarked.

Vs Atalanta – 18th November 2012 (free kick)

A free kick that looks pretty generic on the surface but actually has several of Vio’s key aspects in it when you look a bit deeper. The player to the left causes 2 Atalanta players to come across to cover. We see runners making runs solely to drag players away from the danger area and we see the looping run to the back-post. Fantastically crafted.

Vs Atalanta – 18th November 2012 (free kick)

The Fiorentina players wait until just the last second to flood the Atalanta wall to create a screen, and it works superbly.

Vs Atalanta – 18th November 2012 (corner)

Watch the goalscorer very carefully, he stops his initial run and loops round to the back post (his marker completely ignoring his new run!). The other players in the box all make runs to the front post taking their markers with them – leaving the player at the back post in plenty of space to tap home.

Vs Juve Stabia – 28th November 2012 (corner)

Juve Stabia line up in a nice zonal marking system, but it’s poor defending as it’s an easy header.

Vs Sampdoria – 2nd December 2012 (corner)

Fiorentina player in the 6-yard box drags his marker out leaving plenty of space for the oncoming 3 players rushing into the danger area. Simple but effective.

Vs Sampdoria – 2nd December 2012 (free kick)

Not that many signs of this being a Vio free-kick but I included it anyway!

Vs Roma – 8th December 2012 (free kick)

Roma try a risky strategy – trying to play the offside trap. A runner from deep is quite obviously on-side though, and the finish is then easy.

Vs Chievo – 3rd March 2013 (free kick)

A fantastic example of the “Vio screen”. A wall of 3 Fiorentina players line up behind the Chievo wall, with another player even standing right in front of the goalkeeper directing the Fiorentina wall to make sure the goalkeeper can’t see. They all then rush to make sure they’re on-side and the free-kick flies into the top corner.

Vs Chievo – 3rd March 2013 (free kick)

A couple of players running round to the back-post drags some of the Chievo defenders out weakening the area for Fiorentina to attack.

Vs Lazio – 10th March 2013 (free kick)

Another demonstration of the Vio screen with players following up the free kick with looping runs to get hold of any saves or spills from the goalkeeper.

Vs Genoa – 17th March 2013 (corner)

Players gather towards the back of the 6-yard area – a favourite tactic of mine due to the goalkeeper being unable to watch the flight of the ball and keep his eye on the attacking players at the same time. Upon the kick being taken players then swarm to their positions, with some attacking the front post (dragging their markers out the central zone) and some attacking the central 6-yard area.

Vs Torino – 21st April 2013 (free kick)

We see a 2 man Vio screen obstructing the goalkeeper’s view, before rushing forward as the kick is being taken to join the wall and the free kick is superb, flying into the top corner.

The Analysis

His debut season at Fiorentina didn’t really introduce many new components to his set-pieces (other than toying more with numerical superiority than he had done in previous seasons), but Vio and his repoitre of set-pieces proved to be a superb addition as the 17 goals scored from set-pieces helped Fiorentina finish 4th in Serie A and clinch Champions League football. Vio would stay one more season at Fiorentina, which we’ll explore in part 5.

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