Without a doubt, the last couple of days have been “milestone time“. Raúl scored his 307th goal for Real Madrid on Saturday (equalling Alfredo Di Stefano all-time topscoring record). The following day, Lionel Messi put his name on Barcelona’s 5000th league tally, and today in Serie A’s postponed match between Bologna and Fiorentina, Adrian Mutu increased his Italian personal count to 100. “Records are meant to be broken” indeed.
But speaking of Mutu, his double does not only give Fiorentina three very valuable points; it also confirms La Viola’s position at the 5th spot of Serie A standings. Just to prove that whenever the Romanian striker’s around, Prandelli’s boys are really capable of reaching the heavens.
Tactically, both managers Mihajlovic and Prandelli chose to play 4-3-1-2 line-ups, with Adailton and Santana having the job of inspiring respectively the pairings of Di Vaio-Osvaldo (ex Fiorentina) and Mutu-Gilardino. Identical formations, different performances. On the one hand Fiorentina were light and agile, holding a tight defence ready to go quickly on the counterattack; on the other Bologna’s rearguard was too brittle to withstand their opponents’ onslaughts, while their own forwards never managed much influence on the game. A greater ball possession will only get you so far if you can’t get turn it into scoring chances, especially if your opponents keep the ball up field and incessantly launch continuous attacks.
Thus, just after 6 minutes of play Adrian Mutu scored his 100th Serie A goal, latching onto a superb long ball from Montolivo with a lovely right footed volley. Bologna were rocked, and they’d be rocked even more as Mutu doubled the lead just 10 minutes later, tapping home yet another Montolivo cross for the 2-0 Fiorentina scoreline.
The game had decidedly taken a bad turn for Bologna, but the home team caught themselves a break shortly after the break, as Nicola Mingazzini took advantage of a short headed clearance from Vargas and surprised Frey with a left-footed volley. 2-1 and game on. And since the milestone theme is recurrent here, this was Mingazzini’s first Serie A goal, scored on the day he celebrated his 300th professional game.
Bologna started to believe they could turn this game around, but Fiorentina were ready with the antidote: easing off the pressure and defending tightly (Felipe Melo’s contribution, fresh from his Brazil national team call-up, was capital under this aspect), effectively neutralising the Rossoblu’s offensives, all the while creating some of their own through Montolivo (saved by Antonioli) and Mutu (wide). As for Bologna, their plays had certainly improved compared to the first half, but Mihajlovic’s men very seldom got into shooting range (Di Vaio being man-marked on sight by the Viola defense).
At the end of the day, Bologna had once again shown the full extent of their home limitations: the Rossoblu have lost six and let in 36 goals at the Dall’Ara Stadium (the worst home record in Serie A this season). It’s no surprise then that Gilardino put the icing on the Viola cake in stoppage time, converting Semioli’s assist to make it 3-1 Fiorentina. No milestone on that one, but pretty satisfying nonetheless.
|GOALSCORERS: 6′, 16′ Mutu (F), 52’ Mingazzini (B), 93’ Gilardino (F).
| BOLOGNA (4-3-1-2): Antonioli – C.Zenoni, Moras, Terzi, Bombardini – Mingazzini (80’ Bernacci), Mudingayi, C.Amoroso (78’ Casarini) – Adailton (60’ Valiani) – Osvaldo, Di Vaio. (bench: Colombo, Coelho, Belleri, Lanna). Coach: Mihajlovic.
| FIORENTINA (4-3-1-2): S.Frey – Comotto, Gamberini, Dainelli, Vargas – Kuzmanovic (56’ Donadel), Felipe Melo, Montolivo – Santana (63’ Gobbi) – Gilardino, Mutu (90’ Semioli). (bench: Avramov, Tagliani, Pasqual, Bonazzoli). Coach: Prandelli.