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Fiorentina 2-2 Ferencváros: Match report and highlights

A point apiece in a game that was simultaneously exhilarating and maddening.

ACF Fiorentina v Ferencvarosi TC: Group F - UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images


Fiorentina made 5 changes to the group that beat Cagliari, although Oliver Christensen picked up a knock in the warmup, forcing Pietro Terracciano back into action. Nikola Milenković got a rare break as well, giving us a chance to see Luca Ranieri and Lucas Martínez Quarta next to each other, which was pretty exciting. What wasn’t exciting was the Ferencváros supporters throwing Nazi salutes as they marched through the middle of Florence.

First half

Fiorentina immediately put the Ferencváros goal under siege, boxing the Fradi in, but weren’t able to get more than a few half-chances and shots from distance out of it. The visitors nearly pounced on a Terracciano miscue at the back but couldn’t make it count, although that seemed to give them confidence to press higher up. Mandragora and Lopez were unable to control proceedings, while Nicolás González was hacked every time he touched the ball. Eventually, Biraghi whiffed on a tackle, allowing Mohamed Ali Romdhane to cross for Barnabás Varga, who finished very nicely despite the presence of 4 Viola defenders.

The hosts kind of, sort of responded, but that midfield just didn’t offer enough and the attack was timid, summed up by Beltrán’s refusal to shoot. Ferencváros just bullied Fiorentina all over the pitch, refusing to give them an inch to work with. When the half ended, it was pretty clear that the Viola were second-best and needed to make some changes to get back into this one; Vincenzo Italiano must’ve been fuming.

Second half

The game had started but Fiorentina had left its brain in the dressing room. Varga won a penalty (looked like a dive) just 2 minutes in, but a lengthy VAR check confirmed that he was well offside in the buildup. The scrambling Viola defense never got set, though, and conceded a corner from which Ibrahim Cissé shook free of Ranieri too easily and powered a header past Terracciano, who got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.

[ed. note: no video of this available but I’ll post it when I find it]

Italiano immediately made some changes, bringing on Arthur Melo, Antonín Barák, and Christian Kouamé, and the Viola slowly wrested a bit of momentum back as Ferencváros looked happy to sit deep, waste time, and kick anything in a purple shirt. That backfired for them, though, as the Viola upped the pressure and made it pay when Fabiano Parisi swung in a free kick that Barák headed home; the man loves to score in the Conference League and we should’ve expected it.

With the wind squarely at their back, the hosts threw numbers forward and put Dénes Dibusz’ goal under siege. González had several chances but couldn’t get any on frame, with Bonaventura and Kouamé both having glances, but the Argentine seemed to have redeemed himself after Jonathan Ikoné played Kouamé through; the Ivorian saw his shot saved but squared it for Nico to blast into the empty net, but VAR ruled Chris offside (and it was mighty tight) after an interminable check.

Aleksander Pešić got in behind as the Viola kept hurling bodies into the box but fired straight at Terracciano with a chance to settle it, and Fiorentina kept hunting, with Nico coming close time and again as Arthur curled one a whisker wide as well. The Argentina international finally turned provider, heading a Parisi cross back across and into Ikoné’s path, and #ChaosJonny made no mistake to prod it home and equalize.

[ed. note: no video of this available but I’ll post it when I find it]

Even then we weren’t done, as Nico smoked a free header just wide, but the triple blast meant Fiorentina had another 2-2 game in the Conference League that once again saw the visiting team throw away a lead.

Full time

Goals: Barák 66’ (ass. Parisi), Ikoné 90’+3 (ass. González); Varga 25’ (ass. Ben Romdhane), Cissé 50’ (ass. Abu Fani)

Cards: González 86’, Italiano 90’+4; Sigér 23’, Mmaee 55’, Varga 57’, Ben Romdhane 66’, Dibusz 70’

What’s next

With Genk handling Čukarički 0-2 in Belgrade, Fiorentina drop to 3rd in Group F, behind Ferencváros (4 points, +2 goal difference) and the Belgians (4 points, +1 goal difference). With the Serbians coming to the Franchi next, we can safely say it’s a must-win match for the Viola. Before that, though, our boys get a trip to a slightly fragile but still deadly Napoli before getting into the international break.