Posts Tagged ‘Marius Lăcătuş’

Fiorentina 0-0 Steaua Bucharest: Viola Hit A Romanian Wall (UEFA Champions League 2008-09)

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Second consecutive draw for Fiorentina in the UEFA Champions League. The Viola could not do better than a 0-0 result on Tuesday, blocked by a tough & well-organized Steaua Bucharest side, surprising not only in their disciplined defensive organization but also with their fair share of technical players (above all, António Semedo, Banel Nicolita, and Dayro Moreno).

And so, not even the free-kicks of Adrian Mutu and the pouncing shots of Alberto Gilardino were enough, as Cesare Prandelli’s boys had to settle for a draw. In light of the other match’s result from group F however (Bayern 1-1 Lyon), grabbing a point shouldn’t be considered all that bad. In other words, the glass is half full for Fiorentina… for now.

(From KwSport): Prandelli’s main plan for tonight, relied on the experience of Alessandro Gamberini and Juan Manuel Vargas at the back, the creativity of Sergio Almiron & Mario Santana in midfield, and the finishing of Mutu / Gilardino up front. On the other end however, Steaua manager Marius Lacatus (who even spent a season in Tuscany back in 1990-91) had installed a very thick & effective central dam, populated by the likes of Mirel Radoi & Florin Lovin in midfield and completed by the tall & powerful Dorin Goian and Sorin Ghionea at the back. In addition, the Viola coach soon had to find a solution to the Antonio Semedo problem on the right wing. Indeed, the Portuguese winger very rapidly became Martin Jorgensen’s nightmare, constantly beating the Danish wing-back on the run and creating all sorts of problems to the Viola backline.

Thus with the path down the middle being thoroughly guarded, and the wings not being much effective either, Fiorentina were forced to operate on speed coupled with the long-ball tactic. Not exactly the home special in Casa Viola: except for a few shots (very wide) by Mutu, the first half ended without major excitement. 0-0 HT.

In the second period, Prandelli patched up his right side by inserting Luciano Zauri for Jorgensen, which had its effects almost immediately. Semedo was neutralized, remained the creativity problem. And in that area unfortunately, the Steaua iron defense continued to get the upper hand, and this despite the increasingly greater Viola ball possession. Thus, remained the long-range solution, at which point Adrian Mutu‘s ballistic skills were called into action. His 66th minute free-kick on the outside part of the post was essentially the biggest chance of the night, even though Mutu repeated himself 10 minutes later and headed the side netting, after a good Kuzmanovic cross.

Definitely not enough to deserve three points today, especially if one considers the series of super-saves Sebastien Frey had to provide, on the several Steaua counter-attacks that landed inside the Fiorentina box. His 78th and 79th minute saves on Semedo (low short-range effort) and Szekely (long-range blast) were nothing short of miraculous, as the entire Artemio Franchi held their breath at the possible hold-up goal.

Bottom line: there are still 4 matches left and today’s draw can’t be considered all that bad, but Fiorentina’s job in group F just got a little harder. The next double header vs. Bayern Munich (currently top of the group with 4 points) will undoubtedly be decisive for La Viola’s fate in the UCL.


 ACF Fiorentina
[Match Highlights]
 FC Steaua Bucureşti
GOALSCORERS: 1′, 42′ Gilardino (F), 73’ Piquionne (L), 86’ Benzema (L).
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Frey – Jorgensen (46’ Zauri), Gamberini , Dainelli, Vargas – Montolivo (81’ Pazzini), Felipe Melo, Almirón (74’ Kuzmanovic) – Santana, Mutu, Gilardino. (bench: Storari, Kroldrup, Donadel, Osvaldo). Coach: Prandelli.
STEAUA BUCHAREST (4-4-1-1): Zapata – Ogararu, Goian, Ghionea, Marin – Nicolita, Radoi, Lovin, Semedo (93’ Kapetanos) – Moreno (93’ Tiago Gomes) – Stancu (77’ Szekely). (Cernea, Baciu, Golanski, Toja). Coach: Lacatus.