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Game Over, Fiorentina 0-1 Juventus.

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Early missed chances by Mario Gomez, David Pizarro and Josip Ilicic, cards free Juventus defense, substituting Pizarro out and Andrea Pirlo magic all factored in Fiorentina exit from Europa League in the round of sixteen definitely with HEADS HELD HIGH.

Florence gathered to cheer on Fiorentina as they faced Juventus for the third time in 11 days but for the first time at the Franchi. Fiorentina started the match with Neto on goal behind Stefan Savic and Gonzalo Rudriguez as center backs sided by Cuadrado on the right and Tomovic on the left. The midfield looked like 1-2-1 with David Pizarro deep in front of the defense behind Juan Vargas on the left center and Aquilani on the right center headed by Borja Valero as an attacking midfielder. The offense was made of Mario Gomez and Josip Ilicic.

Conte started the match with the best at his disposal with the usual 3-5-2 with Buffon on goal. In the back Caceres, Bonucci and Chiellini from right to left. In the middle Isla, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba and Asamoah in the same order while the front was made of Tevez and Llorente.

Fearless Fiorentina put on the display right from the start when Matio Gomez almost had half a chance with a Valero through ball but went just wide. Fiorentina dominated the Turin side for most of the first half featuring Pizarro's long shot, Cuadrado's dribble shot combination and worst of all missed chances Ilicic bird hunting shot. Juventus were able to level the playing after the half hour mark and started to look dangerous with crosses. The first half ended with Gonzalo booked and Juventus players running cards free not worried about being booked. The second half began with each team trying to dictate the tempo.

Pizarro was soon substituted out for Ambrosini and Conte took advantage of the message Montella sent. Juventus players went higher up and pushed Fiorentina defenses too hard until Gonzalo had to stop a goal threatening chance getting sent off for a second yellow card. The free kick was taken by Pirlo who scored and took Juventus into a comfortable last 20 minutes period. Fiorentina were down to 10 man and had no Pizarro or Gonzalo to send accurate long passes to the front which was reduced by removing Ilicic and injecting Roncaglia in the match. Matri was brought in earlier for Gomez and on an island by himself behind Juventus midfield that passed the ball around with ease in the last minutes. There were a few counter attacks chances at the end but efforts were always broken with a strong and physical Juventus midfield. The match ended a minute after Tevez unnecessary boot to Neto's back head at which Tevez was booked and Neto yellow carded for dissent.

Report Cards

Was not able to watch most of the match. Feel free to rate in the comments section.

POSITION

NAME

RATING

REMARKS

GK

Neto

DR

Tomovic

DC

Savic

DC

Gonzalo

DL

Cuadrado

MCR

Aquilani

MCL

Vargas

MC

Pizarro

AMC

Valero

SS

Ilicic

F

Gomez

SUB1-MC

Ambrosini

SUB2-F

Matri

SUB3-DC

Roncaglia

Coach

Montella

Referee

Webb

Quotes

Pirlo

We knew Fiorentina were going to start strong, but we prepared for that, knowing that matches last 90 minutes. We had to handle the game in the best possible way, knowing we needed to score. Finally we managed to do it and we brought the result home.

What changed in the second half? We knew we had to score because 0-0 was not enough for us, so we stepped it up, we put them in their own half and finally we earned a deserved victory.

I always enjoy playing and I just hope to continue like this. The free-kick was different [from the one struck against Genoa CFC at the weekend], but just as important.

Bonucci

We knew it was going to be a tough game because they really wanted to win, but so did we. We are fully aware that we are a very good team and if we remain humble we can go far. We had to suffer but we advanced from a very difficult tie so now we can celebrate. Not for long, though, because we have an important game against Catania on Sunday. We will not ease off in Serie A until we have mathematically won the Scudetto.

Pogba

We played exactly as we had to against Fiorentina, especially because we still remember the game we lost here [4-2 in Serie A in October]. We are really happy because we showed our great will to win tonight, our great motivation. Who would I like to avoid in the quarter-finals? Nobody in particular because we don't fear any team. We play our football, we are Juve - we don't have to think too much about the opposition. We were very happy in the dressing room, we celebrated a great victory together.

Tomovic

I think Juventus deserved to qualify but we also played well, especially in the first half when we created a few opportunities and we were unlucky. Maybe if we scored first, the game would have turned out differently. Then they scored at a difficult time for us just after Gonzalo [Rodríguez] was sent off and I think the game was over after that. We had a good start, both physically and tactically as we closed Juve down. It was a positive game at the beginning but in an instant we lost everything.

Now we have to take positives and negatives, look ahead and prepare for the next game against Napoli, which is very important for us. We played well but Juve deserved to qualify. I think we slowed down only after going down to ten men and conceding immediately after. It was almost like a penalty and we did not have the strength to respond. Pirlo is just incredible, he scored a marvellous goal.

Aquilani

A single episode changed the game, the tie, qualification, everything. I think we should be proud of ourselves because we played at the same level as one of the best teams in Europe, we were close to advancing, very close, and that's our biggest regret. However, the season is far from over and we have to finish strongly in Serie A and try to win the Coppa Italia final.

Valero

It's a shame we weren't able to score with one of those early chances,  We can be proud of what we did in this journey. There won't be any psychological setbacks because of the result, as we will think of this as a tough defeat against a great side like Juve. There is a lot still to play for, including the Coppa Italia Final and getting a good finish in Serie A.

Montella

Football is made up of incidents and in this case Juve did well to create and finish their chance with Pirlo," the Viola Coach told Mediaset.

"For one day we will soak up the bitterness, but tomorrow we will begin again seeking our objectives, without forgetting the incredible work we've done so far. Now we want to end our season on a high.

The applause from our fans at the final whistle filled us with pride. It was yet another sign of how close our supporters are to us. Now we must concentrate on Serie A. Cuadrado played around 10 metres further back than usual, but he had a great game, both attacking and defending on Kwadwo Asamoah. I compliment my players for the performance

Borja Valero moves wonderfully and we had several chances in the opening stages. We should've been more precise

Hi Lights


Statistics

Fiorentina

VS

Juventus

44%

Possession

56%

11 (3)

Shots (On Target)

21 (8)

1

Corners

5

11

Fouls committed

13

4

Yellow Cards

2

1

Red Cards

0

UEFA Europa League Goals

Name

Goals

Matos

3

Cuadrado

3

Gonzalo

2

Joaquin

2

Ilicic

2

Valero

1

Rossi

1

Ambrosini

1

Aquilani

1

Matri

1

Gomez

1

UEFA Europa League card accumulation

Name

YELLOW CARDS

RED CARDS

SUSPENSIONS

Pizarro

4

1

-

Gonzalo

4

1

-

Cuadrado

3

-

-

Bakic

2

-

-

Fernandez

2

-

-

Ambrosini

1

-

-

Aquilani

1

-

-

Compper

1

-

-

Matos

1

-

-

Alonso

1

-

-

Roncaglia

1

-

-

Valero

1

-

-

Pasqual

1

-

-

Ilicic

1

-

-

What is next?

It is time focus on Serie A, It is not impossible to overcome a 10 points deficit. Especially when the journey begins against the team you are trying to catch up.

Date

Competition

Time(GMT)

Home

Away

23 Mar 14

Serie A

17:30

Napoli

Fiorentina

26 Mar 14

Serie A

19:45

Fiorentina

Milan

30 Mar 14

Serie A

13:00

Sampdoria

Fiorentina

06 Apr 14

Serie A

18:45

Fiorentina

Udinese

14 Apr 14

Serie A

17:00

Verona

Fiorentina

19 Apr 14

Serie A

19:00

Fiorentina

Roma

27 Apr 14

Serie A

13:00

Bologna

Fiorentina

03 May 14

Coppa Final

18:45

Fiorentina

Napoli

04 May 14

Serie A

13:00

Fiorentina

Sassuolo

11 May 14

Serie A

13:00

Livorno

Fiorentina

18 May 14

Serie A

13:00

Fiorentina

Torino

Forza Viola!