SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 31 - 20 Apr 2015 (19.45 UK)
Fiorentina 0 - 1
Obbadi 90 (V)
Stadio Artemio Franchi

Fiorentina crashed to a late defeat at home to Verona, with Alessandro Diamanti missing a penalty.

Vincenzo Montella made changes to his Viola side in mind of the Europa League match with Dynamo Kiev on Thursday, with Diamanti and Alberto Gilardino playing from the start.

It was the visitors who had the first chance, with Bosko Jankovic getting on the end of a Leonardo Greco corner, but the 31-year-old headed his effort straight into the arms of Brazilian ‘keeper Neto.

Fiorentina began to settle into the game, with Diamanti seeing his shot deflected just wide with 11 minutes on the clock.

Seven minutes later, Josip Ilicic carved out a half-chance for himself, spinning in the box before hitting a weak left-footed shot which Rafael in the Verona goal gratefully collected.

Vincenzo Montella’s men were asserting their dominance, and forced an outstanding save from Rafael as the half-hour mark approached.

Andrea Lazzari swung in a cross from the left, and Gilardino used all his experience to get across his man and flick the ball toward the target. Rafael was equal to it, however, flying across his goal to tip the ball around the post.

The unlikely figure of Alberto Aquilani then attempted a header of his own on 44 minutes, but was unable to find the target, with the teams going into the break on level terms.

Verona came out for the second half with a more adventurous attitude, winning a series of corners which were well defended by the hosts, with Neto alert to punch the ball away from Luca Toni’s head.

Khoma Babacar replaced Ilicic on 55 minutes, but it would prove to be the briefest of cameos. The Senegalese striker broke down the left, but was forced off with an ankle injury after thinking he had won a throw-in.

Amidst the confusion Lazzari sent a shot just wide after a Gilardino knock-down, before Mohamed Salah replaced the stricken Babacar.

Vincenzo Montella’s men were handed a golden chance on 67 minutes, and the mess was all of Verona’s own making. Jankovic knocked the ball down in his own box, and Gilardino got in ahead of the goalkeeper, who then brought him down.

It was a clear penalty, but the Viola couldn’t take advantage, with Rafael saving Diamanti’s shot. There was controversy almost immediately at the other end, when Aleandro Rosi hauled down Luca Toni.

The big striker appeared to be clean-through on goal, but the Paolo Mazzoleni produced only a yellow card, perhaps reasoning that Neto would have been able to beat Toni to the ball.

The game had sparked in to life, and Vangelis Moras saved what looked like a certain goal by heading Salah’s shot away.

It was end-to-end stuff by this point, and Alessandro Diamanti saw his deflected shot drop agonisingly wide with less than 10 minutes remaining.

That would prove costly, as substitutes Obbadi and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos combined to win the game for Verona, with a little help from Neto.

Toni's reverse ball sent Eros Pisano free on the right, and his cross found Lazaros at the back post. His shot was fiercely struck, but Neto should still have held on.

The goalkeeper, who will leave Florence at the end of the season, spilled the shot though, and Obbadi tapped in the rebound.

Fiorentina will now almost certainly have to win the Europe League to qualify for the Champions League next season.
 

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Fiorentina: Neto; Rosi, Tomovic, Basanta, Pasqual; Aquilani, Badelj, Lazzari (Fernandez, 75); Diamanti, Gilardino, Ilicic (Babacar, 55, Salah, 62)
: Rafael; Pisano, Moras, Marquez (Rodriguez, 76), Agostini; Sala, Tachtsidis (Obbadi, 71), Greco; Gomez, Toni, Jankovic (Christodoulopoulos, 83)
Ref: Mazzoleni
Missed pen: Diamanti 67 (F)