A thoroughly uninspired Fiorentina were held to a goalless draw in Sardinia, as Artur Boruc denied Andrea Cossu with a reaction save.
The Viola were in crisis and locked in the dressing room by their own fans after last week’s 1-0 home defeat to Lecce. The situation was increasingly desperate and they dropped Alessio Cerci due to “tension” ahead of his likely transfer, while Stevan Jovetic, Per Kroldrup, Khouma Babacar and Africa Cup of Nations duty Houssine Kharja also missed out. It meant Andrea Lazzari had to improvise as a striker.
Cagliari were boosted by their surprise 1-1 draw away to Juventus, but Nene, Sebastian Eriksson and Lorenzo Ariaudo were on the treatment table. Fiorentina were unbeaten since November 2008 with a draw and last season’s victory, but overall had just four wins, 14 stalemates and 15 defeats in Sardinia in all competition.
Kick-off was delayed for 30 minutes, as a strike from workers of a nearby aluminium plant blocked off the roads around the stadium, holding back the two team buses.
Artur Boruc needed the first desperate reaction save with his shin to deny a header from Andrea Cossu, who is really not known for his aerial threat, but was totally unmarked from six yards.
Radja Nainggolan did well to make a last-ditch tackle as Valon Behrami was pulling the trigger from six yards, while Victor Ibarbo narrowed the angle too much and allowed the Fiorentina defence to clear in front of an open goal.
Cossu unleashed a right-foot screamer from distance that flashed inches past the far top corner with Boruc flying.
Fiorentina started to get into gear towards half-time, as Michael Agazzi did well to beat away a Lazzari screamer and Riccardo Montolivo failed to find the net when pouncing on a loose ball in the box.
After the restart Nainggolan’s attempt was charged down and Lazzari failed to make the most of a good opportunity with his wayward volley.
Cossu saw the ball plucked off his foot as he was pulling the trigger and Michele Canini’s header was off target, as both teams seemed uninspired and content with a point each.
In the final minute, Nainggolan couldn’t trouble Boruc with his shot from the edge of the box.