SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 38 - 18 May 2014 (19.45 UK)
Fiorentina 2 - 2 Torino
Rossi pen 56 (F), Larrondo 66 (T), Rebic 80 (F), Kurtic 84 (T)
Stadio Artemio Franchi

Torino threw away the Europa League in incredible circumstances, a 2-2 draw at Fiorentina with Alessio Cerci’s last-gasp parried penalty.

This was the decisive match for Europa League qualification, as a victory would mathematically secure the Granata’s return to continental competition after 20 years. The Viola had already qualified, but wanted to say goodbye to their fans with a good performance. Ryder Matos was suspended with Norberto Neto and Stefan Savic injured, but Mario Gomez was back on the bench after months of knee problems and Giuseppe Rossi got his first start since January 5. Torino had to battle for Europe without top scorer Ciro Immobile, as he was suspended along with Cesare Bovo. Migjen Basha, Giovanni Pasquale, Alexander Farnerud and Salvatore Masiello also missed out.

Rossi’s strange curler was dipping under the bar before Daniele Padelli’s fingertip save, while Alessio Cerci had penalty appeals when he fell during a dangerous counter-attack.

Facundo Roncaglia and Panagiotis Tachtsidis had attempts saved, while Riccardo Meggiorini failed to get on the end of a smart Matteo Darmian cross.

Alberto Aquilani nodded a Borja Valero corner just wide, while Cerci’s free kick was blocked off by the wall.

Fiorentina went on the counter and Juan Cuadrado combined with Rossi before he was tripped by Giuseppe Vives for a penalty. Rossi stepped up and coolly sent Padelli the wrong way to put Fiorentina in front.

As things stood, this would put Milan in the Europa League, but then Amauri scored to put Parma in front on 63 minutes and sent the Ducali in front.

Padelli prevented Cuadrado getting a second with his save at the base of the near post.

Torino drew level with sustitute Marcelo Larrondo, who slid in to meet a Cerci ball rolled across from the right.

It still wasn’t enough, as the Granata needed a victory to go in front of Parma. Cerci’s free kick was charged down by the wall and Emiliano Moretti had the ball in the net, but was penalised for a push.

Practically simultaneously, Fiorentina restored their advantage and Parma doubled their lead over Livorno. It was a classic Viola counter-attack fuelled by Cuadrado, finished by Ante Rebic under the bar from a tight angle. Rebic had barely been on the field for two minutes after a lengthy injury lay-off.

It still wasn’t over, as Jasmin Kurtic hit a missile of a free kick that flew into the far top corner to draw Torino level.

Incredibly, deep into stoppages Torino were awarded a frankly dubious penalty for a sliding challenge on Paulo Vitor Barreto. If Toro scored this, they would be in Europe. However, Cerci hit a fairly central spot-kick and saw it saved by Rosati!

Cerci was absolutely inconsolable after the final whistle, as he knew this penalty cost Torino their first European experience in 20 years.


Fiorentina: Rosati; Roncaglia, Rodriguez, Hegazi; Pasqual (Rebic 78), Aquilani, Pizarro, Vargas, Cuadrado, Rossi (Joaquin 63), Borja Valero
Torino: Padelli; Maksimovic, Glik, Moretti; Vives, Kurtic, Tachtsidis (Larrondo 65), El Kaddouri, Darmian; Cerci, Meggiorini (Barreto 65)
Ref: Rizzoli

Saved penalty: Cerci 94 (T)