Horrendous weather in Florence was almost matched by a Viola performance, that but for an injury time winner would have left storm clouds firmly situated above the Artemio Franchi. The evening had started off in perfect fashion for Fiorentina, when Josip Ilicic combined with Borja Valero to open the scoring in the second minute of the game. Valero wrong footing the Carpi goalkeeper to put Fiorentina 1-0 up on the night.
Far from taking control of the game, the Viola sat back on their lead, inviting Carpi onto them. The visitors took up the invitation and came close to equalising, Lorenzo Lollo in particular missed a golden opportunity to level things up before the break. At half time Fiorentina's 71% of the possession and 5 shots on goal had only yielded a one goal lead.
The second half saw Carpi step up their attacking exploits. Jerry Mbakogu was a constant thorn in the side of the Viola back line causing all sorts of havoc. Paolo Sousa cut a forlorn figure in the rain, hollering at his team and at the referee Angelo Cervellera. On one such occasion in the 66th minute the official in charge decided enough was enough and Sousa received his marching orders, red carded for the second game in a row.
However it was not until the introduction of Inter Milan slaying Kevin Lasagne that Carpi got the goal that their efforts had deserved. Lasagne took his opportunity with aplomb, making no mistake as he swept the ball into the bottom corner of the Viola net, leaving Ciprian Tatarusanu no chance.
Fiorentina rallied as the game drew to a close, Zarate had a sighter that flew way over the bar and Mati Fernandez whipped a free kick just over the target. To all intents and purposes the match looked to be heading towards a draw. Then out of nowhere rising like a phoenix rising from the flames Mauro Zarate showed everybody what he is capable of. Picking up the ball Zarate manipulated it into position before letting fly with what can only be described as a wonder strike. Given the circumstances, two minutes into injury time, having come on as a sub in the 76th minute, one has to wonder is there a better way to ingratiate yourself to fans of your new club? The answer is probably not. What an end to a game in which Fiorentina looked to be floundering.
Sometimes a goal can turn a season. Some goals are much more important than others, one gets the feeling that this particular goal may rank right up there come the end of the season. Fiorentina ended the match as 2-1 victors, collecting a vital three points in their quest for Champions League qualification.