SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 23 - 7 Mar 2012 (17.30 UK)
Parma 2 - 2 Fiorentina
Okaka 28 (P), Nastasic 60 (F), Cerci 71 (F), Giovinco pen 87 (P)
Stadio Ennio Tardini

Parma played most of the football, but Fiorentina took their chances clinically in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

This match was originally snowed off on February 12 and both teams were trying not to slide into the thick of the relegation dogfight. The Ducali were without the suspended Alessandro Lucarelli and Gabriele Musacci, plus injured Sergio Floccari, Massimo Gobbi and Raffaele Palladino. Jonathan was preferred to Biabiany out wide.

Fiorentina had Stevan Jovetic out for 10 days with a knee problem, Ruben Olivera suspended and Per Kroldrup injured. Adem Ljajic and Amidu Salifu were also dropped, moving Juan Manuel Vargas to midfield. Amauri came back to face his former club.

Michele Camporese risked an own goal with his diving header, but was also fouled by Daniele Galloppa during the move, so Artur Boruc’s instinctive save was ultimately unnecessary.

There were penalty appeals for a Valon Behrami handling offence, but replays show the referee was right to think he deflected the ball with his shoulder.

Stefano Okaka had a great chance on 26 minutes, as Giovinco’s deflected pass fell to his feet, but he fired at a grateful Boruc.

Moments later Parma did get their breakthrough, as Okaka sprung the offside trap from a Giovinco through ball and forced a desperate save from Boruc, but the ball ricocheted back into his path to curl into an empty net.

At the other end Manuel Pasqual hit a volley into the ground that whistled just wide of the far post, as did Mattia Cassani’s fierce angled drive. The Vargas volley, however, was well off target.

Alessio Cerci replaced defender Camporese for a more attacking approach from a stilted Fiorentina. It worked, as moments later the visitors were able to equalise.

A Vargas free kick found the free header of Matija Nastasic to nod in from seven yards. There were three Viola jerseys unmarked in the box and they were lining up, but Nastasic got to it first.

Parma resumed their surge after that equaliser and Boruc needed a fine save to deny Cristian Zaccardo’s effort from point-blank range.

Boruc was called upon regularly to rescue Fiorentina and again rushed off his line to close down Giovinco in a one-on-one, but these heroics paid off, as his teammates took the lead.

It was only their second real shot on goal, but completed the turnaround as Alessio Cerci smartly flicked on a low cross from six yards to dribble past Antonio Mirante into the far bottom corner.

Boruc palmed a long-range MacDonald Mariga snapshot over for a corner, while Biabiany nodded wide.

However, Parma were awarded a penalty for Cassani’s obvious shirt tug on Giovinco. Before the spot-kick could be taken, Behrami and Giovinco engaged in winding-up gestures, from flicks to the back of the head to the Atomic Ant reaching up to pinch the Swiss international’s ear. Giovinco did eventually step up and sent Boruc the wrong way for the equaliser.

There was confusion soon after, as Behrami tripped Giovinco from behind for what should’ve been a second yellow card, which the referee did wave. However, his assistnts told him Nastasic was responsible in this sandwich, so he got the booking instead.

Andrea Lazzari should’ve won it for Fiorentina in stoppages when he went clear on goal, but the angled drive whistled just wide of an open net with Mirante committed.


Parma: Mirante; Zaccardo, Ferrario (Valiani 76), Paletta; Jonathan, Valdes, Mariga, Galloppa (Morrone 89), Modesto; Giovinco, Okaka (Biabiany 62)
Fiorentina: Boruc; Camporese (Cerci 58), Natali, Nastasic; Cassani, Behrami, Montolivo, Vargas, Pasqual; Lazzari, Amauri (Marchionni 82)
Ref: Rizzoli