These sides have a lot of history, Cesare Prandelli used to be in charge of Parma and a number of Fiorentina’s players used to play for Parma and vice versa. Prandelli had high hopes of beating his former side, but hoping for something will not make it happen, as was shown in this game. The opening 45 minutes was a display of some brilliant one-touch football, it was end to end stuff, with some great opportunities and defensive blunders at both ends. It was evident by the first kick of the ball that both teams were playing for all three points. In the first minute Parma gave away a free-kick at the edge of the box which could have been the opener. Then four minutes in Valeri Bojinov came close to scoring against his former team. The first five minutes showed the defensive frailties of both sides. These are areas which both tacticians would be wise to take a closer look.
Opportunities were everywhere in the first half but it was Fiorentina who drew first blood. Alberto Gilardino, the man who perfected his craft at Parma, scored a sublime goal. However, the euphoria of scoring against his former team only lasted for four minutes, Cristian Zaccardo’s hard work resulted in a goal-scoring opportunity for Nicola Amoruso, which the veteran striker slotted in. The second half brought a more aggressive style from Parma – equalising so quickly in the first half gave them a sense of confidence and it paid off. Bojinov scored from a Daniele Gallopa free-kick that looked like a well practiced set-piece. It only took la Viola 10 minutes to respond. Gilardino was there yet again to save the side from Florence – he leapt high to meet a corner and directed the ball towards the bottom right corner. Again, the score only lasted for five minutes as Davide Lanzafame scored the winner after 67 minutes – helping Parma secure all three points.
Parma Coach Francesco Guidolin was surprised how his team have now leapfrogged Fiorentina into fifth place but is ultimately proud of the Ducali, saying: “overall the team proved it is extraordinary.”
Prandelli accepted the defeat and was looking for his side to react positively to it: “I hope the team learn from these mistakes.” How they play against Lyon will give an indication on how much they have learnt.
Before this fixture there was talk that Prandelli was going to take over from Marcello Lippi after the World Cup. Prandelli may be the most popular choice to take over on the Azzurri bench, but his main priority was to beat his former side – which he failed to do. Throughout the game la Viola were an attacking force and were always pushing forward, which ultimately meant they left gaps in defence. A number of players were out injured, most notably Adrian Mutu, Stevan Jovetic and Alberto Paloschi. This evidently had an effect on how creative the play was. While the first half was full of free-flowing football, towards the end of the second half Fiorentina began to show their desperation by committing cynical fouls and piling on the yellow cards resulting in Marco Donadel’s sending off. The inability of either side to keep possession for very long led to lots of scoring opportunities and la Viola had a late chance to salvage a point. However, Gila’s late shot was finger tipped away by Antonio Mirante. It just was not happening for the boys in purple and they lost the game on home turf.
Having just returned from Serie B, Parma were hoping for a position in the middle of the table. They have defied everyone by securing fifth place – even the boss was not this hopeful. Their next opportunity to extend their impressive form comes against Napoli – a team currently on fire who have beaten the likes of Juventus and Fiorentina. The Ducali may be in fifth place but they must remember it is a long season and a lot can still happen. For la Viola, their next game comes against Lyon in the Champions League, and they will have to put this defeat out of their mind and play positively as victory against last year’s Ligue 1 runners up will secure their place in the knockout stages. Domestically meanwhile, Fiorentina must find some way to stop Inter from running away with the title for another year.
Fiorentina 2-3 Parma – Gilardino 25, 62 – Amoruso 30, Bojinov 52, Lanzafame 67
Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Frey – Comotto, Natali (De Silvestri 71), Dainelli, Pasqual – Donadel, Zanetti – Marchionni, Santana (Castillo 53), Vargas- Gilardino
Parma (4-1-3-2): Mirante – Zaccardo, Dellafiore, Pannuci, A.Lucarelli – Castellini – Morrone, Dzemaili, Gallopa (Lunardini 70) – Amoruso (Mariga 84), Bojinov ( Lanzafame 63)
11- Corners 4
17 (5)- Shots (on target)– 8 (3)
15 Fouls -16
2 (1) – Yellow cards ( Reds) – 4 (0)
2 – Offside – 6