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It Wasn't A Peaceful, Easy Feeling....

... But Fiorentina got the three points needed as they scraped out a 4-3 win against comeback kids Torino.

Dino Panato

Fiorentina put their fans through a metaphorical meat grinder today, going out to a three goal lead, only to let Torino take over the match and score three goals of their own before the Viola subs put together an amazing give and go play and Romulo scored a late decider to scrape out three vital points and hang onto fourth place for yet another week.


Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella had to do without Stevan Jovetic again this week as the Viola star made the roster but wasn't ready to take the pitch. Captain Manuel Pasqual was also unavailable due to yellow card accumulation. He did, however, have Stefan Savic back from injury.

Montella put out a 4-3-3 formation today with Nenad Tomovic, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Marvin Commper and Savic out in front of Goalie Emiliano Viviano, Alberto Aquilani, David Pizarro and Borja Valero in midfield and Juan Cuadrado, Marcelo Larrondo and Adem Ljajic up front.

Torino coach Giampiero Ventura counterd with a 4-4-2 formation in front of goalie Jean Francois Gillet, with Matteo Darmian, Kamil Glik, Angelo Ogbonna and Danilo D`Ambrosio in defense, former Fiorentina players Alessio Cerci and Mario Santana on the right and left side of midfield, respectively, with Giuseppe Vives and Alessandro Gazzi in the center of midfield and Riccardo Meggiorini and Paulo Vito Barreto up front.

The match started out with both squads pressing forward and Torino had the first opportunity as Cerci broke onto a long pas, but Viviano put himself in the way and Cerci was called for a foul deep in Viola territory.

Cerci came right back and got the first shot of the match, but it was blocked on the way in. Valero answered with a blocked shot of his own.

A minute later however, Fiorentina took control and were off to the races. Juan Cuadrado took a ball from Ljajic, drove the box diagonally and chipped a ball over the goalie. Gillet got a paw on it, but couldn't deflect it enough to keep it out of the net and Fiorentina were up 1-0.

The goal seemed to energize La Viola and they began to impose their will on the match pressing forward more and more and relegating Torino to the occasional counter and long hopeful balls to Cerci that rarely found their mark.

By minute 16, Fiorentina had earned a corner and made it count. Valero put the ball into Savic in the zone, who sent it back to Borja, who crossed the perfect ball to the front of the net and Aquilani headed it powerfully into the back of the net. 2-0 Viola.

After a few unsuccessful shots from both sides, Pizarro earned a free kick just outside the corner of the Torino box. Ljajic stepped up an put the free kick into the upper corner of the net and it looked like the rout was on.

Unfortunately, Fiorentina must have thought they already had it won and began to relax and Torino began to get back in the match and eventually made Fiorentina pay. Santana intercepted a ball from Valero, drove into the Fiorentina zone and dished a perfect pass to a wide open Barreto who made no mistake and brought Torino back into the match 3-1 with just stoppage time left in the half.

Fiorentina owned the stats in the first half, having 60% possession, out shooting Torino 8 to 5 with 5 of those 8 shots on goal to only 1 on goal for the visitors.

As the second half started, Viola fans were looking for a repeat of the first half, but Torino came out energized, took control of the match and pushed Fiorentina back into their zone and turned La Viola into a defending team, and anyone that's watched any of this squad's matches know that is not something that Fiorentina can really do, they're just not designed that way.

At minute 50, Cuadrado went down in the box, but the ref judged it to be a dive and served him a yellow card, perhaps a bit harshly. Cuadrado is now on warning and will miss a match on his next card.

After giving up a free kick deep, which Cerci sent wide, Meggiorini served a ball to Santana just before the one hour mark, who dribbled sideways and then put the ball past Viviano, who was perhaps a bit out of position or maybe a bit asleep on the play. Regardless, Torino was back in the match 3-2.

Montella responded to the threat, by replacing Ljajic with Matias Fernandez and later bringing in Romulo for Aquilani and Fiorentina began to get back in the match a bit, in regards to possession.

At minute 77, however, Savic cleared a ball directly to Cerci, who put in a long range shot to tie up the match. Savic really should've been given an assist on the play as his clearance was as good as any pass might have been.

After the tying goal, Fiorentina seemed to completely wake up and took control of midfield and began to push Torino back into their zone as Larrondo, Cuadrado, Fernandez and Cuadrado again all got off shots, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net.

But by minute 86, the pressure finally paid off as the three substitutes,, Romulo, El Hamdaoui and Fernandez exchanged the ball nicely and worked it into the zone and to the front of the net where Romulo put it past Gillet for the winner.

A second yellow card at the 90th minute on Darmian sent Torino down an man and Fiorentina saw off stoppage time and closed it out.

Fiorentina finished with 53% possession, down from 60% at the half, a firm indicator of how much they let Torino back into the match. Fiorentina still had more shots, 16-9 and more shots on net, 6-4

The win puts Fiorentina at 58 points, 5 points ahead of 5th place Inter with 5 matches left in the season. That, combined with AC Milan's loss at Juventus today also puts Fiorentina only 1 point behind third place. What a difference from last season, HMMMMM?

Report Cards

Viviano(5.5) - had no chance on the first goal, possibly out of position on Santana's goal and also with no chance on Cerci screamer. One decent save to keep Fiorentina ahead. had one good intervention to kick a ball out out bounds that might have resulted in a one on one situation. Not his best, but not his worst either.
Tomovic(5)- initially i would've given all the defenders a 6, but i can't give a defense that gave up three goals those kind of grades. first half was great, second half they disappeared and let Torino do what they wanted. Santana owned Tomovic in the second half. Just can't happen
Rodriguez(5.5)- see above. first half was fine, second half was crap. clean it up.
Commper(5.5)- probably the best defender out there today, but three goals given up.
Savic(5.5)- Third goal all on him, one of the worst clearances ever. In his defense, he was coming off an injury and had limited practice time. However, the clearing issue seems to be a consistent theme with this defense, they cannot clear the ball to save their souls. will need to do better to keep this dream season on track down the stretch.
Aquilani(6)- Great first half, amazing header for the second goal, seemed to disappear a bit in the second half, as did the entire team, especially the midfield. can't allow let downs like that ; Romulo(7)- Immediately infused the squad with energy, scored the winning goal after an amazing give and go play with Fernandez and El Ham.
Pizarro(6)- One stupid foul early gave Torino a free kick deep, but made up for it with his usual great possession the rest of the first half. He did disappear, along with the rest of the squad, after halftime. As the field general, a lot of that gets put on his shoulders. He needs to drive that midfield and keep them on track.
Valero(6)- awesome first half, got the assist on the second goal. virtually invisible for the first part of the second half, came back when it counted.
Cuadrado(7)- amazing chip shot on the first goal. was involved ion the second goal as well and continuously owned his side. had a great drive into the box through three or four defenders but put the ball wide.
Larrondo(5)- did nothing for me this match. never really got into the match. subbed for El Ham: El Hamdaoui(6)- gets graded only for the assist on the winner. didn't really do anything else, but it was enough.
Ljajic(6)- if not for the great free kick goal, he would've gotten a much lower grade. he could not get by his man, had the ball taken away frequently and really had very little to do with the offense today. According to reports, he's got a bit of an injury, could be why he struggled. All that being said, his goal was perfect. ; Fernandez(6)- While Fernandez had very little direct impact, other than being involved in the final goal, he had a lot of indirect impact.his substitution marked the beginning of the turnaround in the second half. Santana had just scored to bring Torino back into the match and Fiorentina began to take more possession back after he came into the match.

Montella(5.5)- I have mixed feelings about Mr Motella's Viola today. Amazing first half, they came out and absoultely dominated play for almost all of the first half, but then they hung up their cleats and let Torino back into the match right before the half. At halftime, i would've expected Montella to take them to task for the lapse and bring them out of the locker room fired up and take the momentum back and close out the match, but Torino was the inspired club in the second half and tied up the match. However, in typical Montella fashion, he made the changes necessarily and all three subs combined on the winning goal, but let downs like this cannot be accepted and he needs to develop more of a killer instinct in this squad.

Calvarese(7)- As you all know, I am extremely outspoken on how bad Italian refs are, but today I will be just as outspoken on how well Calvarese managed this match. In the first half he was completely invisible, you hardly knew he was out there, making the right call just about every time. Torino fans might have complained a bit as they had 8 fouls called on their team, as opposed to two fouls for La Viola, but given how Fiorentina dominated the half, it was probably a fair number. In the second half, he was called on to make a few more decisions, a yellow card on Cuadrado for a dive that was a bit harsh, and a second yellow at the end that was probably a bit harsh as well, but all in all a match without controversy was a pleasant change. Fouls wound up 15 for Torino to 11 on Fiorentina. well balanced and well done.

Yellow Cards

Disqualification of one game after the 4th, 8th, 12th, 15th and the 17th yellow card. Past 17, every yellow card is equivalent to a one-match ban. (Players receiving yellow cards in this match have an *, red cards #)

Pizarro (13)
Cuadrado (11) * - one game suspension on the next card.
Roncaglia (9)
Rodriguez (8)
Aquilani (5)
Migliaccio (4)
Pasqual (4)
Valero (4)
Jovetic (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Savic (3) - one game suspension on the next card.
Tomovic (3) - and one game suspension on the next card.
Ljajic (2)
Toni (2)
Fernandez (1)
Romulo (1)

Looking Ahead

Fiorentina travel to Genoa to face off against Sampdoria. It might be a contentious match for Adem Ljajic, as he gets to see former Viola coach and beat down king Delio Rossi. Further complicating things for Fiorentina are four players on yellow card warnings, Cuadrado, Jovetic, Savic and Tomovic all in danger of missing the all important AS Roma match. Also looking to make a mark will be Gianni Munari, who playe for Fior last season. As today's match showed, former players love to score on this Fiorentina team. Sampdoria have struggled of late, with two road ties and two losses in the last two home matches, one against Inter, no shame there, but the other against relegation threatened Palermo. Fiorentina were held by Sampdoria at the Franchi in December, but no less than three points will be an acceptable result, in my humble opinion.

Sunday, April 28 9:00 ET Sampdoria v Fiorentina
Saturday, May 4 2:45 ET Fiorentina v AS Roma
Wednesday,May 8 2:45 ET Siena v Fiorentina
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET Fiorentina v Palermo
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET US Pescara v Fiorentina

Other Teams

Juventus 74
Napoli 66
Milan 59
Fiorentina 58
Udinese 54
Inter 53
Lazio 51
Roma 51
Catania 48

Sunday, Apr 28 9:00 ET US Pescara v Napoli
Sunday, May 5 9:00 ET Napoli v Internazionale
Wednesday, May 8 2:45 ET Bologna v Napoli
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET Napoli v Siena
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET AS Roma v Napoli

Sunday, Apr 28 9:00 ET AC Milan v Catania
Sunday, May 5 9:00 ET AC Milan v Torino
Wednesday, May 8 2:45 ET US Pescara v AC Milan
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET AC Milan v AS Roma
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET Siena v AC Milan

Sunday, Apr 28 9:00 ET Palermo v Internazionale
Sunday, May 5 9:00 ET Napoli v Internazionale
Wednesday, May 8 2:45 ET Internazionale v Lazio
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET Genoa v Internazionale
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET Internazionale v Udinese

Sunday, Apr 28 9:00 ET Parma v Lazio
Sunday, May 5 9:00 ET Lazio v Bologna
Wednesday, May 8 2:45 ET Internazionale v Lazio
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET Lazio v Sampdoria
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET Cagliari v Lazio

Sunday, Apr 28 9:00 ET AC Milan v Catania
Sunday, May 5 9:00 ET Catania v Siena
Wednesday, May 8 2:45 ET Sampdoria v Catania
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET Catania v US Pescara
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET Torino v Catania

AS Roma
Sunday, Apr 28 9:00 ET AS Roma v Siena
Sunday, May 5 9:00 ET Fiorentina v AS Roma
Wednesday, May 8 2:45 ET AS Roma v Chievo Verona
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET AC Milan v AS Roma
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET AS Roma v Napoli

Sunday, May 5 6:30 ET Udinese v Sampdoria
Wednesday, May 8 2:45 ET Palermo v Udinese
Sunday, May 12 9:00 ET Udinese v Atalanta
Sunday, May 19 2:45 ET Internazionale v Udinese



"The team (Torino) played with character. Torino put in a great performance, as they came back from 3-0 down and could’ve scored the fourth, but we countered that reaction with one of our own," said the Coach.

"Compliments to Toro and a slap on the back of the head for us. I feared we could lose this game, but I wanted to win it.

"Torino scored some great goals, moved the ball around neatly and surprised us. We got a little scared after a while and, despite the fact these are experienced players, it can still happen. Fortunately we reacted."

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