On October 20, the Fiorentina earned a crucial Champions League away victory and picked up a vital three points in Budapest by prevailing 4-3 in a thrilling encounter with Hungarian hosts Debrecen.
The Viola entered the match with high hopes for earning the crucial three points, but the home side struck just two minutes into he match. The Viola response was quick and clinical as they drew level minutes later through Mutu, and then were ahead when Gilardino found the net to the team up 2-1 after a turbulent opening 10 minutes.
Fiorentina continued to attack and were rewarded soon after as Gilardino and Mutu linked up perfectly, with the latter sending a scorching shot in off the post to extend the lead. Debrecen would not go quietly, however, and managed to pull one goal back before Santana restored the two-goal cushion just before half time.
Leading 4-2, Fiorentina eased up in the second half and despite a late Debrecen goal managed to secure an impressive 4-3 win. The Viola currently sit in second place in their Champions League group, behind Lyon, and look to continue their strong form when Debrecen next makes the trip to Florence on November 4.
Fiorentina unlucky in Serie A
Following an impressive performance in a 1-1 draw against Juventus in Turin on October 17, the Viola incurred back-to-back Serie A losses to Napoli and Genoa, respectively. On October 25, Fiorentina hosted Napoli on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, which also saw Andrea Della Valle return to the stadium. He was greeted by a warm standing ovation from Viola fans. Although Fiorentina were defeated when former Viola winger Christian Maggio found the back of the net just two minutes from time, the former club president and the fans in the stadium were treated to a very entertaining encounter.
For the most part, the match was balanced, but Napoli had better chances, forcing Sebastien Frey to save a penalty among other chances by the visitors. Perhaps tired both mentally and physically from the mid-week trip to Hungary, Fiorentina managed a decent performance despite the setback. It was the Viola’s first loss at home this season and the first time they have conceded a goal at the Franchi so far this year.
Three days later, Fiorentina faced another decisive encounter in Genoa on October 28. Despite what Prandelli described as the best away performance of the season, the Viola fell to a 2-1 defeat and continued their four-game Serie A losing streak.
Fiorentina carried much of the play throughout the game and were unlucky to go behind as Genoa capitalized on its first real chance to take a first half lead. The visitors continued to have the better of the play despite the deficit, and went close several times before finally finding an equalizer secured by substitute Marchionni.
However, the Viola were undone 20 minutes from the end of the match thanks to a well-taken Giandomenico Mesto strike to which Fiorentina were unable to respond in the dying minutes. Prandelli remained both calm and proud of his players following the defeat, stating that if they continue to play in this manner, the results will follow.
Fiorentina started the match with Jovetic, Mutu and Gilardino, all playing together for the first time this season, a move that had been anticipated for some time, but failed to produce a positive result.
The Viola broke their Serie A losing streak against Catania, winning 3-1 at the Franchi stadium on November 1.
Beloved Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli was recently honored with the 2009 International Giancinto Facchetti Award. Named after the late Italian soccer legend, the award is given to the person who has displayed exceptional sporting conduct in the world of soccer. A longtime admirer and friend of Facchetti, Prandelli said that winning the award was a dream come true and that he hoped he was truly worthy of the recognition.