Juventus-Fiorentina: Diego, Fabio Grosso Score As Juve Win in Florence
After such a disappointing performance against Palermo, Juventus had to come back with a positive showing against Fiorentina.
With time slowly running out to hop back into the top four and establish a place there, winning as much as possible is the only option.
That is what happened. Juventus went into Fiorentina's house and grabbed a 2-1 win thanks to Fabio Grosso's 69th-minute goal. It certainly wasn't pretty at times, but an overall scrappy performance against a Viola squad that always seems to give Juve problems.
And it couldn't have started any better as Juve found themselves in front two minutes into the match. Antonio Candreva sent Diego through and the Brazilian playmaker danced around Fiorentina keeper Sebastian Frey to give his team the 1-0 lead.
But after the goal, the first half belonged to Fiorentina.
After Riccardo Montolivo's free kick was cleared, Stevan Jovetic played a ball in to Alberto Gilardino, who was then one-on-one with Alexander Manninger. The Juve keeper parried Gilardino's shot out for a corner.
The pressure in front of Manninger's goal would become a regular thing.
Juan Manuel Vargas' free kick whizzed just wide of the post as Juve were under some serious heat in their own half. It didn't let up after that as Manninger had to make several nice plays to get the ball out of his box.
Fiorentina finally got the equalizer in the 32nd minute thanks to former Juve midfielder Marco Marchionni. And what a surprise, it was because of a defensive error.
Marchionni was left all alone at the back post as Paolo De Ceglie went to the center of the box instead of sticking to his man. That mean Manninger was left in no man's land as he couldn't decide whether to come out or stay on his line.
Marchionni headed it home, and the score was level at one.
The former Juve man was again causing trouble on the right side of the field as he beat De Ceglie with a great first touch and sent a cross that was just out of the reach of Gilardino.
With the young left back struggling, Alberto Zaccheroni replaced De Ceglie with Fabio Grosso, who was seeing his significant minutes for the first time in a long time.
Six minutes into the second half, Diego tested Frey but his shot had barely any zip on it and the Fiorentina keeper collected it without much difficulty.
Fiorentina thought they had taken the lead on 66 minutes when a corner flashed past just about everybody and found Felipe waiting at the back post. The Fiorentina man thought he had a goal until Nicola Legrottaglie cleared it off the goal line.
But moments later it was Grosso, who has done little this season in a Juve jersey, putting his team ahead after a quality through ball from Momo Sissoko. After he collected the pass, Grosso blasted the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle to beat Frey.
Fiorentina again turned on the pressure with the match coming to a close. Manninger had to smother a Jovetic free kick. Five minutes later, Manninger came rushing off his line and did his best Kung Fu Panda imitation as he tried to clear a ball that was around his head.
Despite all the heat they were under, the defense didn't falter. The defense was quality and with Fiorentina throwing so many men forward, Juve were able to counter when they had the opportunity to do so. The best chance came when Claudio Marchisio slipped past his man and forced a very good save out of Frey.
The final whistle blew. 2-1 to Juventus. A quality win in a hostile environment.
Apparently the Palermo performance was just a blip on the radar.
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