Sousa admits 'lucky' triple change helped edge tight affair

Sousa admits 'lucky' triple change helped edge tight affair

13/05/2017 21:08

Paulo Sousa said he was “lucky” with his triple substitution after Fiorentina came from behind to beat Lazio 3-2.

With the Viola trailing 1-0 on 65 minutes, the coach opted to bring on Cristian Tello, Nikola Kalinic and Carlos Sanchez in one fell swoop, switching to two strikers up front. The move paid dividends almost immediately as Khouma Babacar levelled the scores just two minutes later.

Kalinic then scored one and prompted an own goal as a more purposeful Fiorentina completed the turnaround against stubborn opponents.

Here's what the coach had to say at his press conference after the game:

It was a game of two halves today. You struggled to create anything in the first hour but then you really came to life once you'd got the equaliser.

“We were up against a team with fantastic players and great belief so I expected it to be an evenly balanced affair. They defend well and intelligently, taking the right decisions even when defending one on one. They're very physical too. I think it was quite normal that it should be so tight.”

Was it your triple substitution that sparked the turnaround or just a coincidence that the team started playing better after that?

“It's the second time I've changed three at the same time since I've been coaching. It was a tactical move too and, yes, it did enable us to turn the game around. We were lucky.”

You played with two up top after the substitutions. Is that something you might stick with for the last two matches?

“We've started with two strikers several times this season and on other occasions we've switched to a front pairing midway through the match, so yes it's an option we have – both from the start and mid-game.”

At home Fiorentina have beaten three of the top five, Juventus, Roma and Lazio, and drawn against Napoli and Atalanta, yet you've dropped lots of points against the smaller sides. Why do you think that is?

“Against teams that sit deep, are strong physically and dangerous on the break, at certain stages of the season and within a game itself you can run into problems. That's what's happened to us.”

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