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Fior 1-2 Chievo; Hell's Bells

Signore Rossi certainly feels the cold, dark breath of the Relegation Zone on the back of his neck.

Defensive blunders by Cesere Natali and Manuel Pasqual ruined what should've been a coming out party for Adem Ljajic, who scored his first goal in 14 months, and what could've been a fitting send off Dorino Delle Valle, father of Fiorentina owner Andrea Delle Valle, who passed away at age 87 earlier this week.

Instead of an 1-0 win, 8 points from relegation and 14th place, La Viola lost 2-1, are in 17th place and face relegation with only 5 points between them and 18th place Lecce. Wins for Parma and Siena on this matchday saw both squads pass up La Viola and the Dank Pit of Hell, otherwise known as Serie B, looms very large.

To add insult to injury, lame duck, want-away midfielder Riccardo Montolivo managed to get a silly yellow card, as Yours Truly predicted, that insures he won't have to play against his next (reportedly) team in Milan next week. I, for one, am not looking forward to seeing his smirking face up in the stands at the San Siro.

Fiorentina outshot Chievo by a large margin, 15-8, although ther were only able to get two of those shots on goal, while Chievo got four on goal.

Hi Lights

Report Cards
Boruc (4.5) - I don't like watching Artur in goal anymore. he reacts late, he plays way off his line, only a shank saved a third Chievo goal. he made an easy save look hard more than once today, not to mention his poor kicking ability. Neither goal can specifically be laid at his feet and coming off his line save a break once as he came out of his box and headed away a threat, but I'm not convinced.
Cassani (4.5) - matched up well with Marchionni on offense, but was nowhere to be seen on either goal.
Gamberini (5.5) - Might have earned a penalty, but for Rizzoli, there was certainly contact. unable to make up for Natali's blunder.
Natali (4) - horrible, horrible, horrible. got the assist on the first goal and was beat on the second. would rather see the youth.
Pasqual (4) - games like today are why I hate Manuel Pasqual, spent all match forward, crossing to no one, or to the other team and then gives the ball up deep and it leads directly to a goal.
Marchionni (5) - wasn't as good as last week, but better than a lot on the field today, would stick with him next week; Lazzari (NA) - ehhh, he's a buffoon.
Behrami (5.5) - was all over the field in defense. never really connected with Monto tho
Montolivo (5) - took an obvious yellow card for no real reason, other than to ensure he miss next week. did a bunch of dancing around with the ball to make sure he looked pretty, launched a rocket shot that really had no chance. Typical Rikita performance. I wish some of the assorted and sundry garbage on the bench would step up and make this loser superfluous.
Vargas (6) - Vargas had a good first half, although he coudn't connect with either forward
Jovetic (5.5) - Still isn't right, either physically, emotionally or mentally, or a combination of all three. Perhaps he's out of position, but he really didn't look like the old Jojo in the first half. he managed to wake up a bit in the second and managed some back and forth with Ljajic, but it always fizzled out in the end.
Amauri (4.5) - spent a lot of time on the ground crying for penalties. subbed out at the half. had his achilles stepped on, so it could be fitness related ;Ljajic (7) - man of the match, came out and brought life to the offense and had an outstanding free kick. (Rossi quoted: said that amauri "was not well" before the match)

Rossi (5.5) - Defensive mistakes aren't really the coaches fault, unless maybe the continued playing of Natali over nastasic might raise questions. Putting in Ljajic was brilliant, he made a big difference. Marchionni didn't have the game he had last week, but still was better than the Lazzari option. Giving up another late goal is a very large concern, but to their credit, Fior were going for the win, rather than settling on a tie and only got burned on a bad mistake.

Coaches Quotes
“Playing at home when your players are frightened really does not help, as it robs them of energy and focus,” confessed the Coach.

“We play well away from home and still do not pick up the results that we deserve. It’s difficult to do well when there is fear and we need calm, which at the moment is just not here.

“Everyone has to push in the same direction. The common good must come above personal interests.”

Looking Ahead/Behind
Fiorentina are in 17th place, 5 points ahead of Lecce with a trip to Milan next. Points are unlikely for La Viola, but Lecce are at home to AS Roma, who are still gunning for a spot in the Europa League, so the Giallorossi should be at least a little interested. Novara, nine points back, will host Genoa, who are a point ahead of Fior, while Parma, 2 points ahead of La Viola, will travel to Udine and face fading Udinese.

Apr 7 - 9:00 ET - AC Milan v Fiorentina - Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Apr 11 - 2:45 ET - Fiorentina v Palermo - Stadio Artemio Franchi
Apr 15 - 9:00 ET - AS Roma v Fiorentina - Stadio Olimpico
Apr 22 - 6:30 ET - Fiorentina v Internazionale - Stadio Artemio Franchi
Apr 29 - 9:00 ET - Atalanta v Fiorentina - Atleti Azzurri d'Italia
May 2 - 9:00 ET - Fiorentina v Novara - Stadio Artemio Franchi
May 5 - 12:00 ET - Lecce v Fiorentina - Stadio Via del Mare
May 13 - 9:00 ET - Fiorentina v Cagliari - Stadio Artemio Franchi

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