After major injuries to key players, Fiorentina regrouped to take their recent matches.
Fiorentina 3-0 Paços de Ferreira
In the opening Europa League clash against Portuguese team Paços de Ferreira, the injuries suffered and the two-match disqualification incurred the match against Cagliari forced Fiorentina to try out a variety of tactics. Montella chose Rossi as the team’s main striker, partnered with Joaquín up front. It was not long before Gonzalo Rodríguez paved the way to victory during the first half, with his first goal of the season. Paços never intimidated Fiorentina’s defense, and in the second half, the home team was able to score again: it was Brazilian star Ryder Matos who doubled the lead for the Viola as he netted Borja Valero’s exquisite assist just 30 seconds after entering the pitch. Rossi then made it three after a perfect piece of teamwork by Montella’s squad.
This important victory lays the first stepping-stone on Fiorentina’s pathway in the European competition.
Atalanta 0-2 Fiorentina
Another positive result for Fiorentina puts the Viola in second place in the Serie A standings with 10 points, together with Inter Milan and Juventus. Fiorentina grabbed an important win in Bergamo, clinching its sixth consecutive Serie A away victory, and quashing all doubts that arose during the week due to the absence of key players, such as Gomez, Cuadrado and Pizarro. Montella surprised everyone by including Polish midfielder Rafal Wolski as Rossi’s supporting attacker, but the manager’s move proved to be a winning one.
Wolski was in fact crucial to the action that led to the Viola’s first goal, intercepting Borja Valero’s magical cross with a header that bounced off the crossbar. The ball fell to Mati Fernández, who was free from defensive marking, and easily tapped in for the lead.
Fiorentina was then able to double the lead with another extraordinarily precise finish by Giuseppe Rossi, who is fast becoming the Tuscan outfit’s leader.
Atalanta came close to scoring a goal in the final minutes of the game, but Neto swiftly deflected Germán Denis’ short-range attempt.
Fiorentina bagged the three points, and Montella now knows he can count on some highly motivated second linemen.
Brando de Leonardis is the owner, editor and journalist of www.calcionews24.com and its networked websites.