A day that started out extremely brightly (with my wonderful wife making me french toast to nosh on while I watched my favorite team during breakfast time) took a turn for the grim when the Viola lost 1-0 at the Olimpico to a gritty Roma team. And if that wasn’t bad enough, my club is now officially out of forwards: star man Adrian Mutu horrifyingly hurt his knee during the game and is out for God knows how long (I am writing this immediately after the match), Giampaolo Pazzini is out with a bum ankle, and Bobo Vieri is hobbling around like Redd Foxx during “Sanford and Son.” Great. Maybe the team will ask me to play striker on Wednesday.
Both teams start brightly with the Viola getting a nice shot in the 3rd minute and both midfields fighting for control. I like the tone of the match in the early going. Even the forwards for both sides seem to be killing themselves on defense. In the 12th Mutu misses a sitter on a fantastic cross by Semioli. That will come back to haunt them.
By the 15th Vucinic is already showing signs of taking over the game, and Roma is showing great movement on and off the ball. They attack fairly steadily for the next 10-12 minutes. In the 30th, I write in my notebook “Fiorentina has no time on the ball” because of the skillful pressure placed on them by Roma. De Rossi looks great. Vieri does manage a dangerous turn-and-shoot in the 36th, virtually the only dangerous thing he does during the match. In the 39th Mutu fails to score on a breakaway and badly injures his knee in the process. Your faithful correspondent is having a conniption by this point. Papa Waigo comes on for the last few minutes for Mutu. Bobo gets a yellow, insuring that he won’t play midweek vs. Livorno. We go into the half nil-nil, but you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Papa Waigo starts the second half brightly. He seems the only man who wants the ball in midfield, and can blow by people. Doesn’t always seem to know what to do with it, however, when he is in the opponent’s third. Still, I like his spirit. Meanwhile, Vucinic is eating Ujfalusi alive. Everyone at the stadium knows it. The FSC announcers refer to Ujfalusi as “hapless,” which is cruel but true. Finally the despicable Cicinho scores off a Vucinic deflection to make it 1-0, and we are done with our scoring for the day. So much for 4-3 and all the hopes we had for a high-scoring game.
Bobo looks TERRIBLE for the last 30 minutes. Admitably he’s just coming back from injury and playing with kids he never has before, but still. I’m horrified when Cacia comes on for Montolivo and not Vieri. Vucinic comes off in the 68th, and Roma pulls back to defend. Since Fiorentina has no one able to score, the plan basically works. The Viola look tired by the 80th (in spite of Liverani FINNALY coming on in the 76th) and the game ends 1-0 to Roma.
1). Cicinho gets a second yellow card in the 92nd, meaning he’s suspended for the midweek Inter game. Well done, ass.
2). Coach Prandelli and his staff sporting matching purple turtlenecks. Jesus, do they even shop together?
The Viola played with some grit today, and a win is always tough in the Olimpico, but I hoped we could get at least get one before Mutu went down. They looked like quite a different team without him. Let’s face it: we’re not a big team, and we can only have one true game changer. Otherwise our guys are either very young or very old. I liked how Papa Waigo and Kuzmanovic looked today. Ujfalusi and Vieri, not so much. I have major concerns going into Wednesday.
This is being written before Milan’s game this afternoon, so we will see where the Viola wind up for the week. A loss to Roma is certainly never embarrassing, but I would like three points vs. Regina during the week to lift the spirits. Congrats to Roma on a good game.