How Deep Is Your Love; Fior 2-2 Sampdoria

Marco Luzzani

Fiorentina get two goals from their twelfth scorer of the season.

Fiorentina get two goals from their twelfth scorer of the season as Stefan Savic nets a brace, but an own goal from Gonzalo Rodriguez gives up a tie to Sampdoria.

The result is particularly painful to Viola fans as every team near Fiorentina won this week and a tough road trip to Rome to play AS Roma looms. It will be a long and stressful week for Viola lovers, I'm afraid.

Recap

Fiorentina came into this match tied for third place, but facing severe injury woes with Stevan Jovetic, Adem Ljajic, and Luca Toni unavailable and Alberto Aquilani not quite ready as well.

Vincenzo Montella also decided to rest defensive phenom Facumdo Roncaglia ahead of next week's big clash with AS Roma. Instead, Nenad Tomovic slotted into the left back position in front of goalie Emiliano Viviano. Gonzalo Rodriguez and Stefan Savic filled out the rest of the back line.

Juan Cuadrado, Romulo, David Pizarro, Borja Valero and Manuel Pasqual, along with Mounir El Hamdaoui and Matias Fernandez made up the rest of the roster.

Sampdoria had their own issues with injuries, Nicola Pozzi, Eder and Maxi Lopez were out, while Sergio Romero was in Argentina due to a family issue and Andrea Costa was suspended.

Fiorentina came out strong and within 20 minutes had the lead from a corner kick, Valero to Savic.

After the score, Fiorentina seemed to lose some of their earlier drive and allowed Sampdoria to get back into the match, however Fiorentina got to halftime without giving up the equalizer.

The half ended with Fiorentina owning 55% of possession, shots were even at 6, but Viola had 2 on, while Samp only had 1.

It only took 3 minutes into the second half for Fiorentina's lack of killer instinct to pay off for Sampdoria as Icardi headed a ball to Krsticic, who made a move and sent Rodriguez skidding across the turf, settled the ball and put it past a wrong footed Viviano to equalize.

After the goal, Fiorentina seemed to come back to their senses somewhat, but were unable to get any shots on goal, while Icardi got off a shot that required a Viviano save.

As a result of the lagging offense, Montella brought on another forward, Haris Seferovic, for Romulo. The move had an immediate effect, as Fiorentina took the next five shots, bracketed around a free kick that Seferovic headed into the goal, but the officials judged him to be half a step offside.

Unfortunately, the pressure Fiorentina was bringing to bear cost them dearly, as Sampdoria countered and Rodriguez was forced into a sliding tackle on a ball and put it in his own net to put Fiorentina behind.

To Fiorentina's credit, they didn't put their heads down and continued to push forward and it paid off 3 minutes later as Pasqual put in a cross from a corner and Savic made no mistake again.

La Viola got three more shots off, but none dangerous and the finished in a draw.

Fiorentina wind up in fourth place, tied with Lazio, two points behind Inter and three points ahead of next weeks match-up, AS Roma.

Report Cards

Viviano(5.5) - Completely fooled on the first goal, didn't really have much of a chance on the second, own goal. At some point, i'd like to see him make the unbelievable tough save and we haven't seen it.
Tomovic(6) - Played a strong match, came forward a lot and got back well, only down side was that the second goal came from his side.
Rodriguez(5.5) - might as well been up in the stands on the first goal. beaten badly, gave up the own goal as well. Not his best day.
Savic(7) - Partly at fault for the fist goal, his man headed the ball to the middle, but that was the only time he was beaten all match. his brace more than made up for that.
Cuadrado(6) - Played his usual match, passing was off a bit more than usual, however. Was fouled a lot but Valeri choose to ignore most of them.
Romulo(5) - Not really much of a match for him, mostly invisible. pulled out 15 min into the second half ; Seferovic(6) - Scores a goal, but he's half a step offside, was a real threat out on the left side.
Pizarro(7) - Got his obligatory yellow card on a hand ball, but was magnificent in possession as he usually is.
Valero(7) - Assist from a corner on the first Savic goal, his usually great game in possession ; Migliaccio(NA) - Came on to late to make a difference.
Pasqual(5.5) - The thrill is gone, back to the same old frustrating Pasqual. Every cross is either to a defender, in a spot where no one can get too or out of bounds. He did get an assist on the second Savic goal, but this squad needs better from his position.
El Hamdaoui(4.5) - His one bright spot was 15 min into the game, where he nearly deflected a Pasqual ball into the corner, play went south from there. Horrible touches on every ball from then on, was never dangerous and seemed gassed before halftime.
Fernandez(5.5) - Not really involved for much of the match, towards the end of the first half he gets a ball on net, but Tomovic gets in the way. Subbed out for Aquilani late ; Aquilani(6) - good to see him back on the field, not much of a contribution, but the team seemed more dangerous with him in.

Montella(5.5) - i have now have issues with Mr Montella. He does a fine job getting the squad ready, he's been masterful with his lineups with lots of injuries, the team comes out ready to play game after game, but after scoring first, the team invariably goes into a shell and allows the other team back into the match. This team has no killer instinct, they can't get their teeth into a team and rip their throat out. This match should have been 3 or 4 to nothing and they give up two big points, Very similar to the Parma and Chievo matches earlier in the season. That's six points given away , and if this squad had those six points, they'd be tied for first with Juventus.

Quotes

Vincenzo Montella:

"I like our position in the table and it’s just a shame that the season doesn’t end here."

"We accept the verdict on the field and a draw is understandable against an excellent opponent. We tried to win it, but Samp made it difficult for us to develop our usual style of play. After a bad start we picked up the tempo, then went under again."

"Mounir El Hamdaoui played better as a support striker, because he struggled as a centre-forward. The team can improve and we face a Roma side on form next week, so it’ll be a tough game."

Yellow Card Situation

Disqualification of one game after the 4th, 8th, 12th, 15th and the 17th yellow card. Past 17, every yellow card is equivalent to a one-match ban. (Players receiving yellow cards in this match have an *)

Pizarro (9) *
Roncaglia (6)
Cuadrado (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Jovetic (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Tomovic (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Olivera (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Ljajic (2)
Pasqual (2)
Rodriguez (2)
Aquilani (1)
Fernandez (1)
Migliaccio (1)
Toni (1)
Valero (1)

Looking Ahead

Big trip to Roma. Toni should be ready, as will Aquilani. The big question this week is "Is Jojo ready?" I think this squad has done as well as can be expected without him, but it's time for the Viola talisman to get back on the pitch.

Saturday, December 8 2:45 ET AS Roma v Fiorentina
Sunday, December 16 6:30 ET Fiorentina v Siena
Wednesday, December 19 Udinese v Fiorentina (Coppa Italia)
Saturday, December 22 9:00 ET Palermo v Fiorentina
Winter Break
Sunday, January 6 9:00 ET Fiorentina v US Pescara
End of the First Half of the Season
Sunday, January 13 9:00 ET Udinese v Fiorentina

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