Fiorentina really did have a great surprise in store for their fans, all those Viola supporters who despite the limited prestige of the opposition had made the trip to the Stadio Artemio Franchi for today’s match. 6-1: in games like these, in which the final score brings to mind how a tennis set usually ends, it is hard to make accurate conclusions on the teams’ values. Did the winning team really play that well or was the freak scoreline more the result of the incompetence of the losers? Either way, this Fiorentina team tonight expressed an almost perfect display of the beautiful game, which is all the more surprising considering that usual starts such as Adrian Mutu and Riccardo Montolivo weren’t even on the team sheet.
After 5 minutes of play, the Viola were already 2-0 up through Martin Jorgensen (volleyed shot after a Semioli cross from the right) and Christian Vieri (another volleyed shot after an excellent assist by Osvaldo). The double lead didn’t stop the pace of Fiorentina in the least, and the Serie A team continued pounding at the Elfsborg door with successive assaults. However, their finishing ratio in the final third dropped a little and the score remained what it was, until Fiorentina’s Swedish opponents decided to wake up the game with Ishizaki (ex-Genoa), and reduce the Viola lead.
The half ended on a 2-1 scoreline, and the home fans could have feared the second period could turn into a bit of a pain with their favorites scared of conceding a 2nd goal. Not so. Coach Cesare Prandelli seemed to find the right words at the break to pump up his men even more, and the Viola hurricane for the ensuing 45 minutes would do more than sweep away the (static, it must be said) Elfsborg defense. The first to strike: Marco Donadel with a ripping howitzer from 35m straight into the top right corner. Goal-of-the-week stuff!
Ready for more? 3 minutes later, free kick by Semioli from the right wing, perfect delivery for the noggin of Per Kroldrup and 4-1 Fiorentina. There was still time for 2 more goals, one by Jorgensen (who obtained his double in the match) and one by youngster Samuel Di Carmine. No surprises that the assist for both goals came once again from Franco Semioli. 6-1 the final score.
Best performances of the night for the Viola: Semioli obviously (4 assists in the night, and many many more excellent passes), Osvaldo (depsite a few selfish plays) and Vandeborre (who just needs to play with more consistency). Meanwhile on the other stadiums, Villareal went on to beat Mladà Boleslav 2-1 away. AEK Athens was resting, and will receive Fiorentina on the next round. It’ll be a whole other park for the Viola players.
|GOALSCORERS: 4’, 78′ Jorgensen (F), 5’ Vieri (F), 41’ Ishizaki (E), 62’ Donadel (F), 65’ Kroldrup (F), 88’ Di Carmine (F)|
|FIORENTINA (4-2-3-1): Frey – Vanden Borre (69’ Pasqual), Ujfalusi, Kroldrup, Balzaretti – Pazienza, Donadel – Semioli, Jorgensen, Osvaldo (63’ Kusmanovic) – Vieri (80’ Di Carmine). (bench: Lupatelli, Dainelli, Liverani, Pazzini). Coach: Prandelli.|
|ELFSBORG (4-4-2): Wiland – Andersson, Bjork, Augustsson, Karlsson – Ishizaki, A.Svensson, Ilola, Mobaeck (80’ Bajrami) – Keene (21’ M.Svensson), Alexandersson (77’ Audic). (bench: Hassan, Floren, Falk-Olander, Eres). Coach: Haglund.|