PSV Eindhoven 0-2 Fiorentina: La Viola Turns On the Style in Holland and Qualifies for the Semi-Finals (UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals, Leg 2)

PSV Eindhoven vs. Fiorentina (UEFA Cup)

Eindhoven seems to bring good luck to Italians: just a few weeks ago, their swimming team raided the medal cabinet at the 2008 Euro championships. Earlier this decade, another ‘Azzurri’ squad managed to beat Euro 2000 hosts Holland and qualify for the tournament final, after an astonishing match during which Francesco Toldo (at the time playing for… Fiorentina) saved not one, not two, but three penalty shots.

Today, it was Fiorentina‘s turn to find glory in the Dutch city (including the penalty shot-saving part): La Viola came, saw, and conquered a completely transformed PSV team, a mere shadow of the squad who had given them so much trouble in Firenze. For Prandelli and his boys, this victory comes as a welcome surprise during difficult times, especially because of their not-so-brilliant moment of form in Serie A. More than a victory however, this was a convincing display by Fiorentina, who dominated the game technically and physically from start to finish. Adrian Mutu scored two, but the goaltotal could have been much more severe for PSV.

Adrian Mutu celebrates his goal vs. PSV Eindhoven (UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals, PSV Eindhoven vs. Fiorentina)

UEFA Cup - Quarter-Finals, Leg 2 - PSV Eindhoven 0-2 Fiorentina

Much like Cesare Prandelli had instructed his boys, Fiorentina began today’s match without any inhibitions: to earn the ticket to the UEFA Cup Semi-Final round, a goal was necessary and La Viola wanted to get it, and get it early. On their end, the Dutch public of Philips Stadion really made its presence heard, trying to motivate their team and compensate for the absence of young playmaker Ibrahim Afellay (you know, the guy that had given Frey and his defence so much trouble last week).

Adrian Mutu (left) celebrates with Gianpaolo Pazzini (UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals, PSV Eindhoven vs. Fiorentina)After a few minutes of observation, Fiorentina came swinging by Gomes’s box and started giving the Brazilian PSV keeper a few scares. First Alessandro Gamberini (sending a free header wide) then Gianpaolo Pazzini (weak shot from a good position) had their chance, to which PSV replied with the long-range attempts by Danny Koevermans and the speedy runs forward by Otman Bakkal. Sebastien Frey (helped by Tomas Ujfalusi) kept close guard.

Eventually, 7 minutes from the break Fiorentina went ahead, and did so in stunning fashion through their nº10 player. Adrian Mutu received a short touch from Liverani on a 30m free-kick, and slammed an unstoppable surface-to-air missile on which Gomes did not even attempt to dive. 1-0 Fiorentina, and deservedly so based on the play thus far.

In the second half, PSV came back on the field with guns blazing, but La Viola’s defense held tight, and was immediately ready to set off dangerous counter-attacks forward. It only took 8 minutes after the break for Fiorentina to double their lead, exploiting precisely one of these counters: Martin Jorgensen stole the ball from Lazovic and launched a long pass forward for Gianpaolo Pazzini; the Viola striker tried to beat Gomes between the legs  but the keeper parried, only to send the ball as far as Adrian Mutu, who had little trouble finishing into the empty net. 2-0 Fiorentina, and game virtually on ice.

Sebastien Frey saves Timmy Simons’s penalty kick (UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals, PSV Eindhoven vs. Fiorentina)To qualify PSV now had to score three goals, but the team had evidently taken a big knock to morale. Fiorentina continued to push forward and came very close to making it 3-0: Riccardo Montolivo saw his first strike denied by a fingertip save of Gomes, then on his second (a lovely chip from outside the box) the PSV keeper found the welcome help of his crossbar. Fiorentina were putting on a show, and there was little their opponents could do to stop them.

Eventually, the Viola fury calmed down and PSV were allowed to come back a little. In the final minutes, the host team obtained a (rather generous) penalty kick for an Ujfalusi push on Lazovic, but Saint Frey was determined to keep a clean sheet tonight, and brilliantly parried away Timmy Simons’s spot-shot. There was time for a brief Bobo Vieri appearance before the match ended, but there was little left to put in the highlights reel. Fiorentina walked away 2-0 victors, and will be facing Glasgow Rangers in the UEFA Cup Semi-Finals on April 24. If they play with the same quality as they did tonight though, Fiorentina should have little trouble against the soon-to-be Scottish Premier League champions.

Fiorentina players celebrate their victory (UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals, PSV Eindhoven vs. Fiorentina)


 PSV Eindhoven
[Match Highlights]
 ACF Fiorentina
GOALSCORERS: 38’, 53’ Mutu (F)
PSV EINDHOVEN (4-4-2): Gomes – Kronkamp, Marcellis, Salcido, Rajkovic – Méndez (83’ Zonneveld), Culina (78’ Vayrynen), Simons, Bakkal (46’ Lazovic) – Koevermans, Dzsudzsak. (bench: Roorda, Alcides, E.Addo, Zeefuik). Coach: Vergoossen.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Frey – Jorgensen, Gamberini, Ujfalusi, Gobbi – Donadel, Liverani, Montolivo – Santana (78’ Kuzmanovic), Pazzini (73’ Vieri), Mutu (86’ Osvaldo). (bench: Avramov, Kroldrup, Dainelli, Pasqual). Coach: Prandelli.


Posted in Fiorentina, UEFA Cup |

Related Posts:

  • UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals Draw (2007-08): Fiorentina Get…
  • Fiorentina 1-1 PSV Eindhoven: Tough Draw at Home for La Viola (UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals, Leg 1)
  • Inter Milan 2-0 Fiorentina: Nerazzurri Overpower La Viola, +4 Lead Is Maintained (Serie A Matchday 33)
  • UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals Draw (2008-09): Udinese Get Werder Bremen
  • European Cups DRAW – UEFA Champions League & UEFA Cup Quarter-Finals to be Drawn on Friday
  • Comments are closed.