Today in Florence Fiorentina handily defeated Genoa 3-1, thus insuring that the Viola will spend another week in that coveted 4th Champions League spot, aided by the handy loss by AC Milan at the hands of an increasingly likeable Roma team. (Thanks, fellas.) Today’s win was doubly sweet, as it marked the return of Viola forward Adrian Mutu, who dominated the game with a goal and assist, and generally provided the spark that has been missing from Fiorentina’s game in the last ten days or so. Good to have you back, Adi.
One thing I want to confess from the outset: this is going to be a lousy, lousy review. That’s what happens when you don’t really see the game. See, the match wasn’t televised here in the states, so I had to rely on the always unreliable internet to watch the game. I thought I was all set at kickoff, but my computer had other ideas, and I didn’t see a kick of the match until the 27th minute, just a few moments before Mutu scored with a long driven shot from outside the box. Well done. I then saw the rest of the first half, but the feed continued to act funny; I saw about ten minutes of the second half before things started to go haywire; I finally gave up in the 82nd minute, when Genoa got its goal. So, anyway, this review is being written by a guy who only saw about one third of the match. Here’s what I can tell you:
• Mutu, from what I saw, looked good. He scored on that fine drive and apparently assisted on the first goal. Things were very up-in-the-air about whether he would play this weekend, and frankly I thought he would not. But he did, played almost 75 minutes, and heavily influenced the game. If he can hang in there for the rest of the season, I’m feeling good.
• Santana scored again, as did Pazzini. I am especially happy for Pazzini, as he has played hard the last few weeks with little to show for it goal-wise. But they will come when you’re playing as well as he is. I’m happy for him. Didn’t see the goal, though, damn it.
• Frey was great again, and really saved the match for us. He made a few world class saves (including one in the 38th that was spectacular) and thus made the match seem like more of a blowout than it actually was. While Fiorentina’s offense looked solid, questions remain about the back four: Genoa actually had more shots on goal than the Viola did, including some very dangerous balls. Do we have to have Frey save our bacon every time?
This was a great, much-needed win for the Viola. This once again gives them their familiar four-point cushion in 4th place and gives them that breathing space that was needed. It is also comforting to have our most gifted forward back on the pitch. Adrian (in the little I saw) was pacy and inventive and always ready to unleash a creative and dangerous shot on goal. Combining with Pazzini and either Santana or Papa Waigo on the other wing presents a formidable front line going forward.
Fiorentina next have Napoli (in Naples) and Lazio (back in Florence.) Just to keep an eye on our nearest competitor, Milan next have Samp and Torino. Milan could certainly get six points there, so it is vital that Viola keep on winning.
Fiorentina 3 – Genoa 1
Fiorentina: Santana (19), Mutu (30), Pazzini (56)
Genoa: Massiero (83)
Fiorentina: Gobbi, Waigo (yellows)
Genoa: Lucarelli, Konko, Borrielo, Leon (yellows)
Shots (on Goal)
Fiorentina: 10 (6)
Genoa: 20 (8)
As I said, I didn’t see the whole match. Feel free to post your thoughts below, especially if you saw the game and saw something important I missed.