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Palmeiras 2 - FIORENTINA 1

Fiorentina shows weaknesses once again, especially in the defense.. but at least Rossi is back!

Giuseppe Bellini

Fiorentina had the ball for the most of the game, created more chances.. however Palmeiras scored more goals. The positives - there was some quality overlapping on the left side, Manuel Pasqual was on form, him and Joaquin created the most problems for Brazillians. Josip Iličić was 'into it', yet still found ways to do what he's best known for - frustrate. Khouma Babacar proved that his quickness and use of space makes him an interesting addition to this team, but he has to work on the finishing. Marko Bakić and Andrea Lazzari showed that they probably lack quality to play for Fiorentina, David Pizarro and Giuseppe Rossi that they are crucial. This was a friendly game, and basically a B team, so there is no need to get into a panic mode yet. What should worry Montella is that some problems keep occurring. Like the fact that midfield often doesn't offer enough protection for the defense. There is enough time to work on that, and hopefully, to sign a decent central midfielder.

The viola had their best chance of the first half when Pasqual and Iličić combined on the left. Slovenian proved he can produce magic by leaving the ball to il capitano (who wasn't il capitano today) with the beautiful backheel pass, but all of it was for nothing because Babacar managed to miss a sitter. The punishment was cruel - not a minute has passed and Victor Luis scored. He got the ball near the box, made few steps unchallenged and sent in a low diagonal towards Neto's left corner. It was a great shot, but both the defenders and Neto simply had to react better. After the goal, it took Fiorentina about 10 minutes to get back into the match. However, Palmeiras' quick breaks continued to put the defense under pressure. The minute was 36th when Leandro got the sleek pass into space, cut in past Stefan Savić who was too slow. Once again, the ball ended up behind Neto, in the same low left corner, and once again, we were left with the feeling that Fiorentina's number one could have done better.

It took awhile for Fiorentina to even start playing in the second half. To be precise, the viola got significantly better when Pizarro and Pepito Rossi came on. Pek took control of the midfield, and later, when Rossi stepped in for Iličić, the chances came as well. Only three minutes after he came on (at 62'), Rossi served Pasqual with the outside of his boot. Pasqual took a shot, but luck wasn't on his side, and the ball ended up hitting the post. Fiorentina's only goal came in 72nd minute. Babacar gained possession around the center of the pitch, possibly committing a foul in the process, sent a through ball to Rossi who ran into the box and flipped the ball behind Fabio. Nenad Tomović had a great chance to equalize near the end of the game. A free kick scheme saw Pizarro passing the ball to Vargas whose ugly shot from outside the penalty area turned out to be a beautiful, involuntary pass for Tomovic. All alone, he had to score. Instead, his terrible shot went just wide of the post.

Fiorentina (4-1-3-2): Neto 5; Tomović 5.5, Hegazi 5.5, Savić 5, Pasqual 6.5; Bakić 4 (Piccini 6); Mati Fernandez 5 (Vecino 5), Lazzari 4.5 (Vargas 5.5); Joaquin 6 (Pizarro 6.5); Iličić 6 (Rossi 7), Babacar 6.5

Vincenzo Montella 6