NEWS
Thursday February 25 2016
EL: Fiorentina collapse to Spurs

Fiorentina crashed out of the Europa League with a humiliating 3-0 defeat away to Tottenham.

The Viola were held to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Franchi, so needed at least a goal to have any chance of progressing to the Round of 16. Borja Valero started despite flu symptoms, while Spurs missed Harry Kane and Mousa Dembele, while Hugo Lloris and Erik Lamela returned to the XI.

Fiorentina knocked Tottenham out at this stage last season, but no Italian had ever conquered White Hart Lane in a competitive match thanks to three draws and as many losses.

There were timid penalty appeals for a Marcos Alonso handball, but the Fiorentina defender was arguably trying to protect his face from the Kieran Trippier cross.

From a corner Eric Dier’s glancing header skimmed the far post with Dele Alli flying in too late to make contact, while Josip Ilicic and Christian Eriksen had efforts straight at the goalkeepers.

Ilicic curled one of his left-foot specials just round the far post, but Spurs opened the scoring just as they did in the first leg.

Alli got a flick to send Ryan Mason clear into the box and he kept his cool to sweep the angled drive across Tatarusanu from eight yards with the inside of his right boot.

Borja Valero’s glancing header from an Ilicic free kick hit the side-netting. After the restart Nacer Chadli had the ball in the net, but only after being flagged offside.

Federico Bernardeschi tried to shoot and had his effort blocked rather than pull back for teammates in a better position, an error he repeated several times during the second half when Fiorentina were pouring forward.

Just as the Viola were putting the pressure on, they were caught out on the counter-attack. Tatarusanu parried a Chadli strike, but could do nothing on the Lamela follow-up.

Fiorentina’s heads dropped and the icing on the poisoned cake was Gonzalo Rodriguez accidentally turning a powerful Trippier cross into his own net.

Tatarusanu prevented a fourth with an astounding save on Mason’s volley, palming it out from under the bar.

Tottenham 3-0 Fiorentina (4-1 on agg)

Scorers: Mason 25 (T), Lamela 63 (T), Gonzalo Rodriguez og 81 (T)

Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Davies; Mason (Winks 87), Dier; Lamela (Onomah 76), Alli (Bentaleb 84), Eriksen; Chadli

Fiorentina: Tatarusanu; Gonzalo Rodriguez, Astori, Tomovic; Alonso, Vecino, Badelj (Mati Fernandez 82), Bernardeschi; Borja Valero (Blaszczykowski 74), Ilicic (Zarate 61); Kalinic

Ref: Hategan (ROU)