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Touch Of Grey

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Grey and glum day in Genoa this weekend for Fiorentina fans...

Marco Luzzani

Fiorentina rolled out their grey third kits this weekend and, speaking purely for myself, grey is definitely OUT this Spring.

And it's not really a real grey either, it's more of a warshed out purple-y grey and that, when combined wiith the warshed out purple-y kind of play we got from the team this weekend just did not present a pleasing ensemble even for a Idaho yokel with a very limited fashion sense like me.

It has to be said, however, coach Vincenzo Montella was left with even fewer options than usual this weekend, as Manuel Pasqual and Marvin Compper were added to the list of injured defenders, and Gonzalo Rodriguez was unavailable due to yellow card suspension.

Montella was forced to play Juan Cuadrado as a defender and move Nenad Tomovic over to the left back spot. Stefan Savic and Mobido Diakite filled out the center of the defense.

For the mid field, with David Pizarro still unable to make the call, Alberto Aquilani filled into the center role, with Matias Fernandez to the right and Borja Valero to the left. Rafal Wolski and Josep Ilicic bracketed forward Alessandro Matri on the top of the christmas tree.

Further adding fuel to the fire is the familiarity between the two teams. Montella is a former Sampdoria coach and current Samp coach, Sinisa Mihajlovic was a former Viola coach. Ironically, Mihajlovic, when taking the Sampdoria job took over for Delio Rossi, who had taken over for Sinisa in Florence. Small world, there on the Peninsula.

Add in Lorenzo di Silvestri, a right back who is playing on loan at Sampdoria for a second year, after his one year loan deal was extended over the summer. Sampdoria have the right to purchase his rights at the end of this year.

Also in the mix were Maxi Lopez and Angelo Palombo, both of whom have been mentioned in Viola Mercato Madness conversations for ages, with the Media having Palombo all but transferred to Fiorentina a few years ago. Palombo had been sold to Fiorentina from amateur side Fano in 2002, but it was just prior to the Bankruptcy and he was then sold to Sampdoria, who were then in Serie B.

Sampdoria are pretty much safe from relegation and have been making a push to get to the top half of the table, while Fiorentina have been struggling with holding onto 4th place while competing in three competitions and being decimated with injuries and suspensions.

Montella's gamble with Cuadrado, did work to the extent that Sampdoria were kept off the scoreboard, but a lot of that was thanks to Norberto Neto, who has quickly become the brightest spot of this season. Sampdoria got 7 shots on goal and Neto saved them all.

Where the gamble failed was in teh forward game as Cuadrado's forays forward were very limited and Ilicic failed to make up the difference on that side. Add in the unfamiliarity for Tomovic on the left and the youth of Wolski in the middle and it was going to be a tough day.

Vargas did hit a screamer off the corner of the goal and Matri missed a header AGAIN from right on the doorstep and Samp goalie Júnior Costa was called on to make 4 saves.

The one point guarantees Fiorentina remain in fourth place, regardless of the Inter result on Monday. Should inter win, a likely result as they are playing Livorno, then Inter would only trail Fiorentina by a lone point.

Sampdoria drop to 12th place, as Torino and Verona each one to pass them up.

Roster

Neto(8) - First i gave him 7 points, one for each save he made on the day, yes, 7 saves. Then I added half a point, because he had a good day kicking the ball, then I added another half apoint just for effin swagger. He's our dood.

Cuadrado(6) - Forced to play as a defender due to the injury to Compper and the suspension of Gonzalo, really not his strong suit, although he'd best get used to it, it's what he does with his national team.
Diakite(6) - Had his hands full with, and of, Maxi Lopez, but held his own for the most part.
Savic(5.5) - couple of bad giveaways, looked a bit shaky, got a yellow and will not be available next week.
Tomovic(5.5) - tries hard, but he's just not that good on that side of the field

Fernandez(6.5) - Maybe a bit too much running around and not enough passing, but Mati did seem to be in a slightly higher gear than everyone else. I blame the jerseys.
Aquiani(5.5) - He's no Pizarro
Valero(6) - Was taken down hard a few times early (with no fouls being given) and it seemed to distract him a bit . Played a lot better in the second half

Wolski(6) - took a lot of punishment and wasn't given any kind of respect by Russo. Taken out after an hour for Vargas.
Ilicic(5) - Ilicic played a wierd role this week, he was much deeper than it seemed like he should be, subbed out for matos

Matri(4) - Gamble that went bad, just another in a long line of Nacho-like performances. can't be a poacher if you can't find the net when you're three stps away from it.

Subs
Juan Vargas for Wolski '59 (6.5) - Nearly got the win with a laser off the corner of the bar. I seriously thought the goal would collapse under the onslaught.
Ryder Matos for Ilicic '70 (6) - Got involved right away, had a nice run, but really only decent because of how bad and erratic Ilicic was
Massimo Ambrosini for Fernandez '78 (NA)


Montella(6) - Well, it wasn't fun for those watching, but given the injuries and suspensions, Montella's decision to play Juan Cuadrado as a defender seems to be the right one. Neto was still called on for 7 saves, way to many, but a clean sheet is a clean sheet and a point on the road is never anything to sneeze at. Offensively, this team has issues. No one wants to step up and score. Matri tries, but he couldn't hit water if he fell out of a canoe.

Quotes

Montella:
"Cuadrado is a bit more dangerous when starting deep. I moved him into a more advanced position when Vargas came on, but then Vargas had a slight injury and so it switched back.

"When you lack the sharpness physically and psychologically, it becomes difficult to play our style of football. We have created numerous chances, but haven’t been able to finish them off lately. Besides, don’t forget out strike force has been halved by injuries.

"I’d be happy with just one from Mario Gomez and Pepito Rossi, but they are both out!"

Hi Lights

Serie A Goals

(* indicates a goal in this match)

Rossi (14)
Cuadrado (5)
Valero (5)
Aquilani (4) 
Vargas (4)                      
Fernandez (3) 
Gomez (3)
Matri (3)
Ilicic (2) 
Joaquin (2)
Rodriguez (2)
Pizarro (1)                
Wolski (1)

Yellow Card Accumulation

(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 #)

Rodriguez (12)
Aquilani (7)
Cuadrado (6) 
Ambrosini (6) 
Pizarro (4) 
Savic (4) *    - misses next match
Tomovic(4) 
Valero (4) 
Compper(3)  - misses match on next yellow 
Pasqual (3)    - misses match on next yellow  
Diakite (2) 
Matos(2)                                            
Neto (2)  
Wolski (2) *
Fernandez (1)
Gomez (1) 
Ilicic (1)
Matri (1)
Rebic (1)
Roncaglia (1)
Rossi (1)

Looking Ahead

Udinese at Florence. No Savic, but Rodriguez will be back and the team finally gets a full week to prepare and heal up a bit and hopefully get some players back.

Trip to Verona and a visit from Roma looming.

Sun Apr 6 9:00 ET Fiorentina v Udinese
Sun Apr 13 9:00 ET Hellas Verona v Fiorentina
Sat Apr 19 9:00 ET Fiorentina v AS Roma
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET Bologna v Fiorentina
Sat May 3 2:45 ET Fiorentina v Napoli - Coppa Italia (Final)
Tue May 6 1:00 ET Fiorentina v Sassuolo
Sun May 11 9:00 ET Livorno v Fiorentina
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Fiorentina v Torino
End Of Season

Table

(* - pending results; # - to be played Wed 4/2 in Rome)

Juventus 81  
Roma 70 #
Napoli 64
Fiorentina 52
Inter 48 *
Parma 47 #
Atalanta 46   
Lazio 45
Hellas Verona 43
Torino 42
Milan 42
Sampdoria 41

Teams

Juve
Sun Mar 30 2:45 ET Napoli v Juventus
Mon Apr 7 1:00 ET Juventus v Livorno
Mon Apr 14 1:00 ET Udinese v Juventus
Sat Apr 19 12:30 ET Juventus v Bologna
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET Sassuolo v Juventus
Sun May 4 9:00 ET Juventus v Atalanta
Sun May 11 9:00 ET AS Roma v Juventus
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Juventus v Cagliari

Roma
Wed Apr 2 12:30 ET AS Roma v Parma
Sun Apr 6 9:00 ET Cagliari v AS Roma
Sat Apr 12 2:45 ET AS Roma v Atalanta
Sat Apr 19 3:00 ET Fiorentina v AS Roma
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET AS Roma v AC Milan
Sun May 4 9:00 ET Catania v AS Roma
Sun May 11 9:00 ET AS Roma v Juventus
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Genoa v AS Roma

Napoli

Sun Mar 30 2:45 ET Napoli v Juventus
Sun Apr 6 2:45 ET Parma v Napoli
Mon Apr 14 3:00 ET Napoli v Lazio
Sat Apr 19 9:00 ET Udinese v Napoli
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET Internazionale v Napoli
Sat May 3 2:45 ET Fiorentina v Napoli     Coppa Italia Final - Stadio Olimpico
Wed May 6 9:00 ET Napoli v Cagliari
Sun May 11 9:00 ET Sampdoria v Napoli
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Napoli v Hellas Verona

Inter
Mon Mar 31 3:00 ET Livorno v Internazionale
Sat Apr 5 2:45 ET Internazionale v Bologna
Sun Apr 13 9:00 ET Sampdoria  v    Internazionale
Sat Apr 19 9:00 ET Parma v Internazionale
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET Internazionale v Napoli
Sun May 4 9:00 ET AC Milan  v Internazionale
Sun May 11 9:00 ET Internazionale v Lazio
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Chievo Verona v Internazionale

Parma
Wed Apr 2 12:30 ET AS Roma v Parma
Sun Apr 6 2:45 ET Parma v Napoli
Sun Apr 13 6:30 ET Bologna v Parma
Sat Apr 19 9:00 ET Parma v Internazionale
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET Cagliari v Parma
Sun May 4 9:00 ET Parma v Sampdoria
Sun May 11 9:00 ET Torino v Parma
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Parma v Livorno

Atalanta
Sun Apr 6 9:00 ET Atalanta v Sassuolo
Sat Apr 12 2:45 ET AS Roma v Atalanta
Sat Apr 19 9:00 ET Atalanta v Hellas Verona
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET Atalanta v Genoa
Sun May 4 9:00 ET Juventus v Atalanta
Sun May 11 9:00 ET Atalanta v AC Milan
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Catania v Atalanta

Lazio
Sun Apr 6 6:30 ET Lazio v Sampdoria
Mon Apr 14 3:00 ET Napoli v Lazio
Sat Apr 19 9:00 ET Lazio v Torino
Sun Apr 27 9:00 ET Livorno v Lazio
Sun May 4 9:00 ET Lazio v Hellas Verona
Sun May 11 9:00 ET Internazionale v Lazio
Sun May 18 9:00 ET Lazio v Bologna