Well, the Viola managed two goals on the road and pulled one point closer to Udinese. In a game that most will remember for Cassano's childish outburst, Fiorentina turned in a gritty and hopefully resurgent performance to take a well deserved point from their trip to Genoa.
After scoring only once in their last 4 league games, Fiorentina managed to put two past Samp. The first came off of a sublime chip into the penalty box from Montolivo which was expertly slotted home by Mutu. This was huge for both men. Montolivo has taken a lot of criticism recently, much of it well deserved, and he played very well yesterday. He was more aggressive, had fewer turnovers and played several good passes. Hopefully his injury which forced him to be substituted shortly after halftime is not serious.
As the season has gone on, I have become more and more impressed with Marco Donadel. He has matured and gotten better with the ball at his feet while continually hustling, making strong tackles and playing solid defense. His shot from 25 yards away to put Fiorentina in front was amazingly still rising as it went into the back of the net. Incredible strike and a well deserved goal for the second best player on the team in the first half of the season (only Frey has been better up until now).
And I'll take a moment out to mention Mutu's free kick at the end of the first half, which was tremendously well placed, and bounced off of the upright. He's getting closer to full fitness and is improving each week since his return from injury. Fiorentina created more quality chances in this match and fully deserved at least the point from this match.
Erratic at the Back
All things considered, that was not a terrible performance considering it was Pasqual and Jorgensen outside and Ujfalusi and Kroldrup in the middle. The first goal was on Lupatelli, as he spilled the rebound from Cassano's cross/shot directly into the path of Gasteldello and then allowed the shot to go right through his legs. I don't think I need to say what would have happened with Frey between the pipes. And Cassano's second goal was quite a finish, but obviously a more imposing right back than Jorgensen wins that header. Jorgensen is a slight dude, but Cassano is not particularly impressive in the air. I can't slam Jorgensen for his errors in this match, as he is a serviceable right back in an emergency. He gives his all for the team and is willing to play wherever Prandelli needs him. You gotta love a guy like that.
Fortunately, it seems like Frey won't be out all that long. And in addition, Gamberini may be ready to play in the upcoming matches as well. And after this week, everyone will have some time off to heal up and be ready to hit the ground running in 2008.
2 More games before Christmas
There is the midweek UEFA cup tie against Mlada Boleslav on Thursday and then the home match to Cagliari next Sunday. We'll speak more about these games shortly, but clearly both are winnable, even with a couple of key injuries.