Yesterday in Florence the Viola re-claimed fourth place in Series A by defeating nearby rivals Livorno in a hard fought game. Fiorentina are now two points up on nearest challengers Milan, while Livorno continues their dangerous dalliance with the relegation zone.
This is not a real recap of the match, since I did not see it. Ah, the pressures of a 9-5 job. It is more of a summary of some of the match reports floating around the ‘net.
Most commentators report that it was an extremely physical match (benefiting a derby) that witnessed two players sent off (including Franco Semioli for the home side) before the end of the first half. Substitute Papa Waigo scored early in the second half on a header from a corner kicked by Osvaldo. The last thirty minutes witnessed a few more chances for the Viola, including some nice work by Pazzini, who apparently played and looked all right.
This was virtually a “must-win” match for the Viola. Following last Sunday’s loss to Roma and this weekend’s big matchup with Juve, the club had to, and did, get three points here. Fiorentina are now two in front of Milan and four behind Juve, who have been stuttering a bit lately. A win in Turin this Sunday would, remarkably, put us just a point out of third.
Make no mistake, however: I am expecting great difficulties on Sunday, despite the fact that Juve will have three key players (Pavel Nedved, Cristiano Zanetti and Giorgio Chiellini) out on suspension. David Trezeguet is expected to be back from his bought with the flu.
I will get a preview (probably pretty brief) of the Juve match up tomorrow or Saturday, and a recap (a real one, this time) up on Sunday evening.