Fiorentina last tasted defeat away to Parma, and tonight their unbeaten run was broken in some style by Lazio. The 4-0 scoreline flattered Fiorentina, as only some fine saves from Norberto Neto kept the scoreline acceptable.
Lazio took the lead inside 6 minutes when Lucas Biglia volleyed from the edge of the box, smashing the ball past Neto, who was at full stretch, into the right hand corner of the net. Miroslav Klose could have doubled the lead minutes later but could only manage to shoot straight at Neto in the Fiorentina goal. At this point, the away team were defensively all over the place, and Felipe Anderson, continuing his rich vein of form, was looking likely to exploit the chaos.
Just after the half hour mark Biglia unleashed another superb volley from outside the box. Neto, again, proved why he will be missed at the end of the season, managing to deny a certain goal by pushing the shot onto the post. Fiorentina were very lucky to be going in at the break only a goal down, but having shown such resilience of late, surely Vincenzo Montella could weave his tactical magic once again to turn things around?
David Pizarro was brought on at half time for Alessandro Diamanti and ten minutes later Alberto Gilardino replaced Josip Ilicic in an attempt to freshen things up. The second half started brightly for the Viola with Milan Badelj shooting wide when Mohammed Salah had neatly teed him up, however any early optimism was soon quashed. Nenad Tomovic slid in with a very ill-judged tackle on Anderson, who was in full flow and the referee didn't hesitate to award a penalty. There were no complaints from the men in purple and Antonio Candreva coolly sent Neto the wrong way to make it 2-0.
Things went from bad to worse with fifteen minutes to go, as Neto parried Candreva's shot and Miroslav Klose, who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, dispatched a diving header. To compound a miserable night in the capital, Lazio made it four in the 85th minute as a Keita Balde Diao effort was well saved by Neto, again the ball fell to Klose and with some help from some uncharacteristically hesitant defending by Stefan Savic, Klose found the net again with clinical ease.
Finding any positives from this game is extremely difficult, as Fiorentina simply didn't turn up for this one. The unbeaten run was bound to come to an end at some point, but to lose in this manner to a fellow Champions League contender was a bitter disappointment. The team must now erase this result from memory and move on in time for Thursday's Europa League game with AS Roma. One thing is for sure, with Fiorentina's hectic schedule, Montella will have to quickly reorganise and reenergise the team and give them back the belief that has seen them go thirteen games unbeaten in all competitions.
Neto Tomović 0⃣ Savić Basanta Pasqual Kurtić Badelj Mati Diamanti Iličić Salah Montella Gila Pek ☕️ Joaquín ⌛️— SALAH NATION (@Viola_Nation) March 9, 2015