Fiorentina suffered defeat to continue the string of negative results which have disheartened the squad and given rise to rumours regarding coveted Coach Cesare Prandelli. The 2-1 reverse in Munich was overshadowed by inexplicable refereeing decisions which left the Gigliati visibly disappointed.
The clairvoyant Tactician succeeded in restricting Bayern to two goals with the second one coming from an off-side position with controversial Miroslav Klose lucky to be even on the pitch as a few minutes earlier he launched on a bruising tackle. There is no point rehashing what happened but the point to be made is referees are humans and everyone makes mistakes. However in this case all of the key decisions went against Fiorentina while blatantly serving the Bavarians. The sending off of Massimo Gobbi was inexplicable given Klose’s offence in the latter stages of the game. While Gobbi’s sending off could be justified under different circumstances, there is no doubting Klose was fortunate to remain on the pitch following his horror play. Compounding matters even further was the fact Mark Van Bommel could have easily been sent-off by half-time. The refereeing left much to be desired and UEFA deserves criticism for picking controversial Tom Henning Ovrebo. How such a poor referee can be chosen to officiate a match with so much at stake is mind boggling.
Focusing on the match the Gigliati put in a textbook performance to limit two of the most dangerous footballers in Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Considering the harsh refereeing influenced the match’s outcome and putting into perspective Bayern’s depth in midfield and upfront, the visiting la Viola displayed grit and tactical awareness to frustrate the Bavarians. Credit must be shared between the coaching staff and the players but unfortunately what was supposed to be a morale boosting draw ended in a disheartening defeat. The key now is whether the Coach and players can channel the anger towards achieving positive results or if this unfair loss will become a psychological hurdle compounding the Gigliati’s misery. The squad will be reminiscing on the missed opportunity to have the upper hand ahead of the return leg as a 1-1 draw would have forced Bayern to attack leaving ample space for Fiorentina to exploit.
The Press has given the match a lot of attention considering controversy tends to sell. The media will continue to chew on the refereeing topic and perhaps even create some conspiracy theories. This risks creating further distractions for the Gigliati with one good example being Sunderland’s Darren Bent who recently decided to quit the social networking website Twitter in order to focus on playing as opposed to getting mired in what papers and bloggers have to say about his online updates. Bent said he got distracted by how the media used his updates to create inaccurate stories about him. Obviously this is a different scenario but the mindset is just about the same given the squad will be hearing and reading about the match for the upcoming days. The perfect remedy will present itself in a couple of days when Fiorentina host Livorno in perhaps the season’s biggest match for the Gigliati. Besides being a derby clash for the two Tuscan sides, this match will be an opportunity for la Viola to achieve multiple objectives.
Home form has become a concern and anything but a victory against the fellow Tuscans will ring alarm bells around Florence if they are not already ringing given the bad results. Livorno are one of the weaker sides despite the draws with Milan and Juventus. The two giants have struggled as of late but the draws show the visitors remain a tricky side. More significantly the Gigliati are desperate for a win, any win as a matter of fact, so even an ugly 1-0 win would suffice. Prandelli’s troops gave a good account of themselves when they hosted Roma a couple of weeks ago yet they unfortunately ended up losing to the visiting Giallorossi. At this point the Coach will probably take a victory over a solid performance because the players are struggling to achieve victory.
Injuries have not helped either with Alessandro Gamberini and Cristiano Zanetti both sidelined while Adrian Mutu is still suspended till further notice. The January signings have yet to gel with some of the recent additions such as Adem Ljajic and Keirrison still young and inexperienced. Stevan Jovetic is in their age range but is ahead in the learning curve with Champions League games under his belt. Prandelli would be delighted if the two players proved to be as good or close to his worth.
Fiorentina Club Focus
Viola continue to grind out results – September 15, 2009
La Viola lose Gilardino and the points – September 18, 2009
Fatigue catching up with la Viola – September 22, 2009
Della Valle Resigns as Fiorentina triumph over Sampdoria – September 25, 2009
La Viola finally win away as De Silvestri makes debut – September 29, 2009
The beginning of the Jovetic era in Florence? – October 2, 2009
Two points lost and a wasted opportunity – October 6, 2009
Good news all round – October 9, 2009
International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
Transfer rumours abound as Gilardino fires la Nazionale to South Africa – October 13, 2009
Gilardino shines again as la Viola eye the Bianconeri’s scalp – October 16, 2009
La Viola holds firm against Juventus – October 20, 2009
Crucial win over Debrecen, Manchester United prepare bid for Jovetić? – October 23, 2009
La Viola going through a rough patch – October 30, 2009
Marchionni brace completes Fiorentina rebound – November 3, 2009
Prandelli and co. march on against Debrecen – November 6, 2009
La Viola edge Udinese as Marchionni and Montolivo earn Azzurri recall – November 10, 2009
Vargas to stay as Prandelli praises Jovetic – November 20, 2009
Injuries taking their toll as Lyon clash looms – November 24, 2009
la Viola through to the round of 16 in Europe – November 28, 2009
La Viola’s resistance broken from the penalty spot – December 1, 2009
Must-win game to remain close to Champions League spots – December 4, 2009
Race for fourth continues as Fiorentina travel to Anfield – December 8, 2009
Historic win as Tifosi give warm reception – December 11, 2009
Precious points dropped as fatigue and injuries mount – December 15, 2009
Viola prepare for Milan’s arrival and Mutu’s departure – December 18, 2009
Snow postpones Milan clash – December 22, 2009
Calm holiday period despite transfer reports – December 29, 2009
Reinforcements wanted – January 5, 2010
Ideal start for 2010 as the Gigliati begin a push to climb the table – January 8, 2010
Mutu’s timely return to form – January 12, 2010
La Viola continue on the right track on and off the pitch – January 15, 2010
A step back but Bolatti set to join – January 19, 2010
La Viola march on in Coppa Italia as Mutu strikes twice – January 22, 2010
Serie A inconsistency continues as Palermo are victorious in Sicily – January 26, 2010
Adrian Mutu in trouble once again? – January 29, 2010
The schedule only gets tougher from here on for la Viola – February 5, 2010
Bleeding points – February 9, 2010
Crisis continues in Florence albeit fuelled by incorrect refereeing decisions – February 19, 2010