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Fiorentina 1-2 Lech Poznan: Recap and player ratings

Well, that didn't pan out. La Viola controlled the game, but were unable to break through a determined Lech Poznan defense, then conceded on the only two shots they faced all game. A late strike from Giuseppe Rossi provided a glimmer of hope, but it wasn't enough, and now the Europa League may be slipping away.

So here's what nobody wanted to see.
So here's what nobody wanted to see.
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Well, that was a real punch in the crotch. Fiorentina controlled the game, albeit without creating many chances, but conceded twice in the second half (really, on Lech's only two chances), and crashed to another shocking defeat at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, leaving their Europa League dreams battered and maybe even dead.

First half

The game started rather scrappily, with some physical high pressure from Lech Poznan causing Fiorentina some difficulty in possession for the first quarter hour or so, but things eventually settled down into Fiorentina passing the ball around in Poznan's half without creating very many chances. A Matías Fernandez free kick in the 2nd minute caused a scramble in the box, but nobody could finish it. Ante Rebic and Giuseppe Rossi combined nicely on a break in the 22nd minute, but Rossi's through ball was barely ahead of Khouma Babacar. Shortly afterwards, Davide Astori made a brilliant sliding intervention to stop a Lech Poznan break. In the 27th minute, Pasqual fired a shot that rocketed a few feet over the cross bar following another Fernandez free kick. Lech's best chance of the half came about a half hour in:a break down their right and a cross, but the defense coped well and took care of it. The half ended scoreless, despite some good energy, if not skill, from Ante Rebić and Babacar.

Second half

Rossi won a free kick about 27 yards out in the early going, but Fernandez's ensuing effort was way, way off. Next, Mario Suarez and Manuel Pasqual combined to kill what could have been an excellent chance with some terrible passing. Matías Vecino came on for Joan Verdú in the 65th minute, and Lech Poznan immediately scored on a break down the right: with Astori nowhere to be seen, Pasqual couldn't prevent Gergö Lovrencsics from crossing to substitute Dawid Kownacki, who'd just come on.

Paulo Sousa reacted immediately, removing Pasqual for Federico Bernardeschi. Five minutes, Bernardeschi suffered a possibly red card-worthy foul, but it ended up being a yellow, and Mati tried a shot from a tight angle to no avail. Fiorentina's best chance came a few minutes after: a Vecino blast from distance fell to Berna on the rebound, but he couldn't find Babacar or Josip Iličić, both unmarked in front of goal. Some nice work from Iličić and Mati set up a Berna shot, but he fired right at the keeper under pressure. Lech Poznan won a free kick near the box when Nenad Tomovic (mostly quite good) handled a cross, and nobody marked Marcin Kaminski on the back post; he squared it to Maciej Gajos, who easily tapped in from the middle of the box to effectively end the game.

Giuseppe Rossi pulled one back late (with an assist from Mati), but Rebić lost the thread on the restart and got himself red carded for a truly atrocious tackle, and the game ended on that note.

Player ratings

Sepe: 6--maybe could have done more on the second goal, but not really at fault for either and didn't see much more action

Astori: 5.5--both goals originated from his side of the pitch, although he did make some nice tackles and passes

Tomovic: 6--his handball led to the second goal, but it wasn't his fault entirely, and he was generally pretty solid

Roncaglia 6.5--best defender on the day; shut down his side entirely

Pasqual: 5--per his norm, spammed crosses into the box, but to no great effect; got skinned for Poznan's first goal

Fernandez: 5.5--buzzed around as usual and got an assist, but his set pieces were awful; looked like a guy who hasn't played much recently

Suarez: 4.5--broke up play just fine, but contributed nothing going forward and lost the ball way too often

Verdú: 5.5--not especially inventive, and surprisingly inaccurate for a passing midfielder

Rebić: 5--energetic and skillful, if lacking a final product, but that tackle was really bad; trying too hard to impress

Rossi: 6.5--vanished for long stretches, but got a goal and produced a couple of half chances

Babacar: 5--lots of hard work, but no end result; too eager to shoot, even from iffy positions

Vecino: 5.5--his shot gave Berna a chance, but was otherwise invisible

Bernardeschi: 4.5--had two chances for goals and whiffed both

Iličić: 5--had one nice flick for Mati, but didn't do much else

Up next

No time to mope over this one, since Roma comes to town on Sunday for a clash of the top two sides in Serie A. Fiorentina's Europa League campaign resumes in two weeks, with a chance for revenge in Poznan.