We already knew it, but now it's official - Fiorentina have won group K of Europa League. Two quick goals, by Marko Marin and Khouma El Babacar away at Guingamp made it seem like it might be a big win, but in reality, we were lucky not to concede a second goal, after a made up penalty and red card for Jose Basanta in the first half.
Experimental starting eleven left a more than positive impression in the first half. After six minutes, Fiorentina was already up 1-0, and it there could have been more. Marin's first shot was saved by Lossi, but soon, after a quick break, the goal came. French keeper denied Babacar's attempt, but couldn't do anything to save Marin's shot.
Only few minutes later, it was already 2-0. Milad Badelj finally showed something from his repertoire. His beautiful pass found Vargas on the left. The Peruvian then went on to sent a perfect low cross to Babacar in the heart of the penalty box, and the young forward was quicker of the home defense and tapped it in for 2-0.
For most of the first half it was an impressive performance, especially by the midfield. Players who don't play too often lately, like Aquilani and Badelj, and even Andrea Lazzarri, showed that Vincenzo Montella can count on them. And even more importantly, Marko Marin. The artist formerly known as "The German Messi", while certainly isn't the new Messi, proved that he might be Fiorentina's wild card this season. Marin is unpredictable in his movement, not to mention quick and technical player, which might be exactly what the Viola need.
The first half ended, of course, with the Basanta red card (very dubious, to say the least), and the penalty which brought Guingamp back in the game. From there Fiorentina labored in ten, but managed to cling to victory. Stay tuned for potential opponents and more for our newly crowned Group K winners!
Guingamp (4-5-1): Lossl; Jacobsen, Kerbrat, Sorbon, Sankoh; Yatabarè, Diallo, Mathis, Pied, Beauvue; Marveaux
Fiorentina(3-5-2): Tatarusanu; Richards, Tomovic, Basanta; Kurtic, Aquilani, Badelj, Lazzari, Vargas; Marin, Babacar