Born Under A Bad Sign - Catania 2-1 Fiorentina

Tullio M. Puglia

If it wasn't for bad luck, Fiorentina wouldn't have any luck at all...

If it wasn't for bad luck, Fiorentina wouldn't have any luck at all. Two balls off the woodwork, one word too many to a ref with thin skin and a young goalie out of position on one goal and unable to make the big save on another and Fiorentina go down to another 2013 loss and drop further down the table.

Report Cards

Neto(4)- Once again Neto gives up more goals than he makes saves. He runs out of goal rashly, putting himself out of position and gives up an easy goal. Can't be faulted too much on the second goal as Roncaglia was spectating on the play, but a better goalie might have made a game saving play there. Time to rethink letting Viviano go.
Roncaglia(5)- Once again, too focused on the offense and allowed a late lapse to cost Fiorentina points. It was plays like that that had him sitting after Pescara. his stats were great, 11 of 14 challenges won, 6 tackles and 6 clearances, but one brain fart and the goal is wide open.it's not like he's an offensive juggernaut either, he had one shot, off target and two unsuccessful crosses. sit back and play your damn position
Rodriguez(5.5)- Solid, but not fantastic. 5 of 10 challenges won, 7 clearances, 3 interceptions.
Savic(5.5)- Only saved 1 of 3 duels, but that 1 saved a clear chance on goal. 5 interceptions, 4 clearances, 1 block, 1 tackle. Played a bit off his man, allowing the cross that eventually beat Fiorentina, but that goal was more on Roncaglia than him.
Cuadrado(6)- I'm not going to be as hard on Juan today as some on this blog have been, he once again dribbled the ball like a mad man, causing havoc on his side of the field for Catania. winning six fouls while not conceding a single one. he did get a, perhaps, foolish yellow card for dissent, but that might have been Celi's thin skin as Alberto could attest to. His passing and his shots are still completely out of control, but he nearly doubled the lead with his head. He did selfishly take a shot, when it looked like Jovetic was open, but, since Jovetic hasn't been able to put the ball on net, perhaps he can be forgiven for that moment.
Aquilani(4)- One rash word likely cost Fior at least a point, maybe more. Yes the ref had way too thin skin, but you just can't put your team in situations like that. he will definitely miss the next match and he gives the Federation a chance to do Juve a favor and possibly extend his ban.Just plain stupid.
Migliaccio(6)- Scored the lone goal, but struggled a bit in midfield. Won 10 duels, but lost 18. He did connect with Cuadrado a bit and they worked their side fairly well.
Valero(5.5)- Didn't play his usual iron man match today. Perhaps Pek's absence is starting to wear on him.
Pasqual(5.5)- One assist, nearly a second on Cuadrado's header off the bar, but still had another 7 crosses that failed. His crossing percentage on the fly is always awful.
From the Corner it's not bad, however. Subbed late for Tomovic; Tomovic(NA)
Ljajic(5.5)- A ton of effort, but no result. Perhaps could have earned a foul in the box on a drive, but Celi never seemed interested in calling those fouls. Adem did seem ot be the only player pushing forward at time in the first half. ;Toni(4) - Offside on his only chance, the thrill is definitely gone from his return. He did win 7 of 7 duels, for what it's worth.
Jovtic(5)- At this point he's starting to seem like a liability, he's not drawing the double and triple team as much anymore, at least not until he gets into the box. His passing efficiency today was 57%, the only player with a worse passing percentage was Luca Toni. Jovteic lost more duels, 12, than he won, 11. He had only three shots, none of them on net.

Montella(4.5)- The team came out and seemed ragged and out of sorts, but managed to recover and take the lead. After the score, they seemed to sit back and let Catania come at them until halftime, a bad habit Montella has not been able to excise from this squad. lack of discipline on Aquilani's part is also something you can point at the coach for, not to mention the consistent tendency of this squad to get selfish when things don't go their way. Furthermore, Jovetic's lack of contribution also has to be laid at the coaches feet. This is your most dynamic player and you can't get him involved, then there's a problem with your tactics and not changing tactics to solve that problem is stupid. The definition of insanity...

ref
Domenico Celi(1)- Would've had a fairly decent score if not for his inexplicable red card on Aquilani. Regardless of what he said, you just can't insinuate yourself into the match like that at this level. Of course the Italian federation will stand by their ref because they can't admit there's a problem without everyone bringing up Calciopoli. Also, ignoring contact on Ljajic in the box, and yet calling a weak flop with less contact on the play prior to the first Catania goal is another fail. A point stolen from Fiorentina.

Quotes

Montella:

"Once again today the team played well, showed maturity and created many scoring opportunities," said the Coach.

"We seemed to have the game in hand, but that is football. At the end Catania hurt us, but our idea of football must not change.

"I don’t recall ever seeing such a period of bad luck and we have to hope the tide turns. We want to reach Europe, so our ambitions and ideas will not change."

Re: reinforcements:

"The club is vigilant on every opportunity. We have only just started this project, so are trying to work out how to improve the squad. We think that we know what is needed, but first we must see what the transfer market offers us."

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 (10)
Roncaglia (8)
Rodriguez (6)
Cuadrado (6) *
Olivera (4)
Jovetic (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Tomovic (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Valero (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Aquilani (2) - Red card. Will miss at least the next match.
Cassani(2)
Ljajic (2)
Migliaccio (2)
Pasqual (2)
Savic (2) *
Toni (2)
Fernandez (1)

Looking Ahead

Next week against Parma is as much of a must-win match as you can get. With Juve, Inter and three matches later a trip to Lazio looming, three points here is imperative. No Aquilani, Pizarro must be ready to go and put this squad back on the right track. Jovetic needs to kill whatever bug has crawled up his butt and start contributing again.

Sunday, February 3 9:00 ET Fiorentina v Parma
Saturday, February 9 12:00 ET Juventus v Fiorentina
Sunday, February 17 2:45 ET Fiorentina v Internazionale
Sunday February 24 9:00 ET Bologna v Fiorentina
Sunday March 3 9:00 ET Fiorentina v Chievo Verona
Sunday March 10 3:45 ET Lazio v Fiorentina

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