SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 31 - 9 Apr 2017 (11.50 UK)
Sampdoria 2 - 2 Fiorentina
Bruno Fernandes 5 (S), Gonzalo Rodriguez 60 (F), Alvarez 71 (S), Babacar 89 (F)
Stadio Luigi Ferraris

Fiorentina fought back twice from a goal down to snatch a 2-2 draw away to Sampdoria, sealed by a Khouma Babacar last-minute stunner.

The Blucerchiati enhanced their giant-killing reputation with Monday’s shock 2-1 win away to Inter, despite missing the injured Luis Muriel. It was a must-win game for Paulo Sousa if he was to have any residual hope of reaching a Europa League spot. Federico Bernardeschi returned after an ankle problem, but Nikola Kalinic was only fit for the bench.

The game kicked off 20 minutes late, as the Fiorentina team bus got stuck in traffic. Gonzalo Rodriguez marked his 200th competitive appearance for the Tuscans.

Just five minutes into the game, Bruno Fernandes sprung the offside trap on a through ball and put his right foot through it from the edge of the box to beat Ciprian Tatarusanu. This scorcher ended a run of three consecutive Viola clean sheets.

Bernardeschi curled a free kick inches past the far post, as he tried to bend it around the outside of the defensive wall, but Tatarusanu’s poor goal kick was straight to Schick and he had to parry the Bruno Fernandes finish from point-blank range.

Khouma Babacar’s audacious lob was off target from midfield and Quagliarella followed suit, while Emiliano Viviano (a life-long Fiorentina fan) smothered Cristian Tello’s drive at the base of the near post.

Bernardeschi nodded a Josip Ilicic free kick wide and it should’ve been 1-1 on the stroke of half-time, but Carlos Sanchez turned a free header over the bar from a corner.

Nikola Kalinic came on for the second half and the Tuscans stepped up a gear, as Tello was unlucky to see his angled drive bounce off the inside of the far post after he turned Dodo inside out.

Soon after, the Viola got their equaliser, as Gonzalo Rodriguez marked his 200th game for the club with a trademark header at the near post on a corner. Viviano got a hand to it, but it was too powerful to keep out.

The visitors were pouring forward with a series of set-pieces, but were caught on the counter by Schick and substitute Ricky Alvarez. Carlos Sanchez backed off and allowed the Argentine to pick his spot, firing low at the near post to surprise Tatarusanu just three minutes after coming on.

Fiorentina were unlucky again, as the same upright shaken by Tello was met by a Kalinic header on Tello’s cross 11 minutes from time.

Kalinic had another chance with a header, but the ball was going behind him and he couldn’t steer it on target.

Sousa’s men did draw level right at the death with a spectacular equaliser from Babacar, who with barely any back-lift managed to hit a powerful lob under the bar from 25 yards out.

It still wasn't over, as deep into stoppages Alvarez stung Tatarusanu's gloves at the near post and with the last kick of the game Babacar's angled drive was going into the far bottom corner until Viviano stuck out a toe to parry.

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Sampdoria: Viviano; Bereszynski, Silvestre, Skriniar, Dodo (Regini 73); Barreto, Torreira, Linetty (Alvarez 68); Bruno Fernandes (Praet 65); Schick, Quagliarella
Fiorentina: Tatarusanu; Astori, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Sanchez; Tello, Badelj, Borja Valero, Milic (Chiesa 72); Bernardeschi (Saponara 80), Ilicic (Kalinic 46); Babacar
Ref: Russo