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Fiorentina vs. Palermo, Final score 4-3: A step in the right direction

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Fiorentina defeated Palermo easier than the result suggest, after a brilliant first half performance, but there are still some worrying signs

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Fiorentina secured a win against Palermo with seemingly spectacular 4-3. However, the g ame wasn't that close -- or at least it shouldn't have been, considering what was actually happening on the pitch. The game should have been over by the halftime, instead we had to suffer until the very end. But a win was what we needed, and a manner in which it was obtained gives us reason for optimism -- as well as for concern. Goals by Il capitano Manuel Pasqual in the first half, Jose Balanta, Juan Cuadrado and a golazo by Joaquin were enough for a win against an in form Palermo.

A lot of chances created, especially in the first half, quite possibly the best 45 minutes by Fiorentina this season, are certainly a reason to look to the remainder of the season with some more enthusiasm. If only Mario Gomez could have found a way to put the ball behind Stefano Sorrentino it would have been even better. Sigh. Someday, Mario, someday...

First half saw a total domination by la viola. A disallowed Gomez's goal, a crossbar hit by Borja Valero after a Maradonaesque run through the Palermo defense (and a subsequent miss by Gomez from few meters), a post by David Pizarro... Clearly, it was Palermo who could be by far more satisfied with trailing only 1-0 at the halftime. The only goal was scored by captain Pasqual, after a beautiful build up, Fernandez passed it back to an unmarked Pasqual, who hammered it in the low left corner of Sorrentino's goal.

Second half was pretty much the same in that the game was played on Palermo's half. Second goal was a much scrappier one - Basanta scored after a chaos in the box, involving Nenad Tomović, Gomez and Palermo defense. In the end, it was the Argentine who vollezed the ball into the net, making it 2-0. Perhaps it was time to let the visitors have a ball a little and take fewer risk, routinely bring the game to the end. But this is Fiorentina, so what actually happened was, at 2-0, Palermo scored a goal from a counter.  And then another one a minute later, after Pizarro's trademark horrendous back pass.

But even then, Fiorentina looked like a better side, not really shaken by losing the big lead. Cuadrado tapped the ball in after Pasqual's low cross. The minute was 65, so naturally, we were all worried if we'd manage to squander lead again. Then Joaquin seemingly put the game beyond the doubt, with a beautiful curling shot, after cutting in from the left. However, this being Fiorentina, the game wasn't really over yet. With ten minutes to go, the rosanero were awarded a penalty. No one is really sure why, but the ref saw a foul by Basanta. Andrea Belotti stepped up calmly and reduced Fiorentina's lead to 4-3. But that was all the visitors could do -- and even that is more than they probably deserved with today's performance.

Fiorentina (3-5-1-1): Tatarusanu; Tomovic, Basanta, Alonso (Richards 76'); Joaquin, M. Fernandez (Vargas 87'), Pizarro, B. Valero, Pasqual; Cuadrado (Kurtic 82'); Gomez

Goals: Pasqual 20', Basanta 51', Cuadrado 64', Joaquin 75'

Palermo (3-5-2): Sorrentino; Munoz, G. Gonzalez, Feddal; Morganella, Rigoni (Bolzoni 81'), Maresca (Quaison 52'), Barreto, Lazaar (Emerson 62'); Vazquez, Belotti

Goals: Quaison 59', 61'