In a performance worthy of the Sweathogs, Fiorentina put four goals in the back of Cagliari's net, only one of which was judged to be legal. With Vinnie Barbarino Gilardino out and Boom Boom Babacar on the bench, it was left to Adrian Kotter Mutu, Juan Manuel Epstein and Artur Horshack Boruc to make the grade.
One goal was enough, however as Mutu scored his first goal in 319 days and Boruc and the lads chalked up their fourth straight clean sheet (to teams not called AS Roma, AC Milan or Juventus). The win moves them to 12th place and pending a player's strike, might herald the winter break, where Fiorentina Management have said they will be active in the Mercato.
The first half was a boring and ghastly thing to watch, with both squads playing slowly, the bulk of possession being with the visitors as Fiorentina struggled to string three passes together. Hi lights for La Viola included a shot by Vargas at the 19th minute that required a save by Cagliari Goalie Agazzi, followed by a shot from Mutu requiring another save and a header from Camporese that went wide.
At minute 26, Nene got Cagliari's first shot on goal, which Artur gathered in. From then to the end of the first half, Fiorentina had 5 shots, one missed by vargas and 4 shots blocked, one Mutu, two Ljajic and one by D'agostino.
With about a minute left, Lorenzo Di Silvestri slipped a ball through to Mutu, who put in the back of the net, but the Linesmans Flag was rightly raised and the goal did not count. The teams went to halftime scoreless.
The second half started out much livelier for Fiorentina fans and by the 7th minute, Gaetano D'agostino, who had a much better second half, earned a free kick in a dangerous spot and served the ball perfectly to Mutu, who headed it into the back of the net.
at the 55th minute Donadel committed a yellow card offense right outside the box, but Conti's shot went straight to Boruc for his second save. Fiorentina countered and a great run by Vargas and Ljajic turned into a fine header by young Ljajic, which a sprawling Agazzi just managed to deflect away.
Over the next ten minutes, both Lorenzo Di silvestri (groin) and Adem Ljajic (head) picked up knocks, but were able to continue. at min 73, Zanetti came in for D'agostino, who was tiring. 5 minutes later, Marco Donadel screamed a rebound from the top of the box into the net, but Zanetti was judged to be offsides and on a quick restart, a Cagliari counter nearly resulted in a goal, but Boruc stepped up heroically for his third and final save.
At minute 80, Cristiano Piccini came in for Pasqual to help shore up the defense as Fiorentina held on for the win. One last bit of excitement occurred as Mutu scored another goal from offsides, but the rest of the match was Fiorentina holding off Cagliari for the three points.
Cagliari outshot Fiorentina, but La Viola had more shots on. Fio 12(5) cag 13(3).
out possesed by Cagliari 57 to 43%
Four saves for Agazzi, three for Boruc.
Yellow cards for Boruc, Donadel and Mutu. Boruc one away from a game off.
Boruc - Solid, never in danger. 3 saves, clean sheet. 7
Gamberini - solid as a rock. starting to look more like our anchor. 7
Camporese - also solid. it's the gambo and campo show. almost got his first goal. 7
Pasqual - stayed at home for most of the match, vargas had to help him out a few times. 6 ; Piccini = got a few minutes in, got his beak wet. n/a
LDS - kept more to his role. he's slow tho. no big errors 6
D'agostino - had a rocky start. touch was bad, passing was worse. he got a few tries at free kicks and it seemed to wake him up. earned the free kick on the wing and served it to mutu. 6.5 ; Zanetti - came on with about 15 min left. he doesnt just look slow, he is. offside on Donadel's goal, although that call was questionable . 5
Donadel - had a great match, had a few stupid fouls and got a dumb yellow but that's our Marco, should've been given a goal - 6.5
Vargas - played back a lot, wasn't real active forward until D'agostino went out 5.5
Ljajic - showed moments of brilliance and moments of frustration. it's all a learning experience. 5.5; bolatti - buh bye
Santana - looked his age, kinda slow, didn't so much for me 5
Mutu - Still looks a bit rusty, but his header was perfect and his work professional. Can't wait to see him and gila work together. 7;5
Mihajlovic - whateer he said at halftime made the difference as the team came out to play in the second half 7
slight knocks to Ljajic and LDS, everyone should be ok.
This win was nice as it was the fourth win and clean sheet against the teams we should be beating. If there is a match next week, it will be at Udinese. Kroldrup and Comotto will be available, as will this other guy name Felipe that we hope never to see again.