Fiorentina continued their hunt for a place in the Europa League with a hard-earned and frenetic 3-2 away win over Genoa on Sunday afternoon. Just under 1,000 Viola supporters packed in the away section in the top tier of the side stand inside the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and the squad celebrated the victory together with them at the end of the match.
It had been a relatively uneventful first half, Fiorentina dominating the play and finally taking the lead through midfielder Marco Benassi. Yet the curse of the ex would rear its head once again when former Viola striker Giuseppe Rossi levelled the scores on 64 minutes.
“I had a wonderful past with the Viola shirt and today I hope to put in a good performance to fire up the fans in the stadium,” Pepito declared before the match. His hopes would come true as Rossi fired in his first Serie A goal in almost three years, the previous strike a penalty for Fiorentina in a 2-2 draw with Torino on the last day of the 2013/14 campaign.
That equaliser for Genoa would spark a flurry of activity in the match, and as Rossi was substituted for Gianluca Lapadula on 67 minutes, the former Milan striker would put his side ahead within a minute of his introduction. Yet the match was open and continued to flow from end to end, Fiorentina midfielder Bryan Dabo almost scoring an equaliser only for his thunderous shot to bounce off the inside of the post.
It never seemed like the Viola would stay behind for very long, and they were given a helping hand when Goran Pandev slid in two-footed on Bruno Gaspar on the left wing, a silly move given that the veteran had previously been playing well and looking dangerous. Stefano Pioli’s men had been peppering the Grifone goal with shot after shot, and the scores were pegged back to 2-2 on 77 minutes when substitute Valentin Eysseric found the net from just outside the six yard box after somewhat of a goalmouth scramble.
Just 16 minutes had passed since Rossi’s goal handed Genoa the lead when Dabo got a second bite of the cherry to put the visitors ahead, sending those passionate away supporters into delirium. There had been some truly suspect defending from Fiorentina, but the performance was yet another example of this young team simply refusing to lie down in order to achieve their aim.
With this win they have closed the gap to Milan in sixth to just one point, with matches versus Cagliari at home and a mouthwatering encounter with the Rossoneri at San Siro to come on the last game of the season. Atalanta are also just two points ahead after a 1-1 draw with Lazio and La Dea are due to host Gennaro Gattuso’s men next week. Everything is still to play for and Fiorentina are looking in exactly the right mood to finish the 2017/18 season on a high.
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