SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 25 - 24 Feb 2014 (18.00 UK)
Parma 2 - 2 Fiorentina
Cassano 39 (P), Cuadrado 41 (F), Amauri pen 51 (P), Mati Fernandez 85 (F)
Stadio Ennio Tardini

A magnificent Mati Fernandez free kick gave 10-man Fiorentina a 2-2 draw away to Parma in a game with three red cards.

This was a head-to-head for Europe, as the Viola were targeting third place and the Ducali protecting their club record 12-round unbeaten run. Giuseppe Rossi was injured and unable to face his former club, but Juan Cuadrado and Gonzalo Rodriguez returned. Afriyie Acquah sat out a ban with Nicola Pozzi sidelined for the hosts.

Modibo Diakitè had a surprise shot after 30 seconds, his lob plucked out of the air by Antonio Mirante with some difficulty. Parma had much of the ball, but Rodriguez was decisive in preventing Amauri from getting his volley away.

Cuadrado’s angled drive was deflected inches past the base of the far post and Amauri managed to turn between defenders but his shot was too weak to trouble Neto. Gabriel Paletta charged down a fierce Alberto Aquilani strike.

Antonio Cassano’s ball went through past a Walter Gargano dummy, but Jonathan Biabiany fired back across the face of goal.

Cuadrado’s pass was just behind Matri in the box after a period of typically classy Viola football. The Colombian went for goal himself with a powerful long-range effort that was deflected out for a corner.

The deadlock was finally broken before half-time by Parma. Amauri got to the by-line and his pull-back was deflected, but fell for Cassano to turn in from six yards. It was FantAntonio’s ninth career Serie A goal against Fiorentina, his favourite victims.

However, that advantage lasted all of 120 seconds. Cuadrado started the counter-attack and was at the back stick sliding in to finish it when Matri’s ball flashed across the face of goal and Borja Valero failed to connect.

Straight after the restart Biabiany got his head to a cross from 12 yards, but just as he connected the Frenchman was kicked by a mistimed Nenad Tomovic tackle. The referee pointed to the spot and former Fiorentina flop Amauri stepped up to convert successfully.

The tension escalated even further moments later when Diakitè received a second yellow card for taking down Cassano in midfield.

Even down to 10 men, Fiorentina kept pushing and Mirante took a huge gamble when trying to dribble Matri in the box.

Marco Marchionni blasted over from a corner, but Neto needed a fantastic double save on 65 minutes when beating away a Marco Cassani strike and the Amauri follow-up from point-blank range. Rodriguez also did well to block off Biabiany one-on-one in the box.

It ended 2-2 when these sides met in Florence earlier this season and that scoreline was repeated thanks to an extraordinary free kick from substitute Mati Fernandez. The Chilean midfielder curled an amazing effort over the wall and into the far top corner past Mirante’s fingertips, but it was simply unstoppable.

Raffaele Palladino came off the bench and within 60 seconds turned a free header wide. There was a Parma free kick deep into stoppages and a scuffle broke out in the wall between Borja Valero and Gianni Munari, leading to red cards for both players.


Parma: Mirante; Cassani, Paletta, Lucarelli, Molinaro; Gargano, Marchionni (Munari 80), Parolo; Biabiany (Palladino 87), Amauri, Cassano (Schelotto 82)
Fiorentina: Neto; Savic, Diakitè, Rodriguez, Tomovic; Aquilani (Mati Fernandez 78), Pizarro, Borja Valero; Cuadrado, Matri (Ilicic 67), Joaquin (Gomez 59)
Ref: Gervasoni

Sent off: Diakitè 53 (F), Borja Valero 95 (F), Munari 95 (P)