A feisty game in Genoa this evening ended with both teams taking a share of the spoils. Fiorentina started well, dominating possession, Juan Vargas and Joaquin firing in a succession of crosses from both flanks.
On 14 minutes, it was Genoa, however, that took the advantage. A weak clearance by Nenad Tomovic from a M'baye Niang cross allowed the winger, on loan from AC Milan, to play the ball back across the 6 yard box. Stefano Sturaro, who had completely evaded the attention of Vargas and Jose Basanta on the right hand side, shot, hit the far post and in an unfortunate piece of luck, the ball rebounded off Ciprian Tatarusanu’s head and into the net.
Sturaro kept on foiling the defence, but fortunately, Genoa were unable to convert their dominance into a second goal, thanks to a bit of luck and some good saves from Tatarusanu. Facundo Roncaglia, showing no love for his parent club, also tried to dampen the lively Alessandro Diamanti with a series of fouls that were not picked up by the referee.
There was only one shot on target in the first half for La Viola. Borja Valero played a deft through ball to Khouma El Babacar, who shot straight at ‘keeper Mattia Perin when he really should have scored.
The second half commenced as the first had ended with Niang continuing to stretch the 3 man defense when he broke through and shot against Tatarusanu on 53 minutes. Despite this, Fiorentina made their breakthrough in the next minute. Some good work from Tomovic led to a corner for La Viola. Diamanti took it short to Mati Fernandez who played in a skilful cross. An attempted clearance from Sebastian De Maio unwittingly provided a flick on for Gonzalo Rodriguez, who powered a fantastic header past the goalkeeper at the near post. Fernandez, who had come to life in the second half, put in another fantastic ball from a corner minutes later. It again found Rodriquez who headed just over.
Il Grifone attempted to hit back - Sturaro found himself on his own again on 65’ and substitute Lestienne hit the angle on 72’, although Tatarusanu had it covered. With 10 minutes to go, the game could have gone either way. Alberto Gilardino was on for Babacar and Genoa defender Nicolas Burdisso was given a deserved second yellow card when he used his elbow to obstruct Mati Fernandez, who was at full flow.
In a breathtaking final few minutes of added time, Fiorentina were pushing for the equalizer. A shot from Joaquin was parried by the ‘keeper and substitute Micah Richards slid in with an inch perfect tackle in the penalty area on Lestienne. A cheeky backheel from Diego Perotti was cleared off the line by Vargas and at the other end Gilardino’s shot was saved by Perin.
With their rivals pulling away, Fiorentina took a less than useful point from a nonetheless entertaining, end to end game.