A sad night in Florence
The city has been charged with excitement all week. There is nothing like the anticipation of a visit from Juventus, especially when we have every chance of progressing in the Europe Laegue at their expense. Old scores will be settled. Perhaps there is something in the Florentine DNA, going back to the Medicis and the rivalry of the city states, as this seems to reinforce the rivalry built over the last 30 years. Sadly for us, it did not happen and the city and stadium were downbeat places last night though our fans sang and exhorted to the end.
The referee was your Howard Webb. I understand from Alan Tanner that he has not had the best of seasons. It all turned on one incident when, midway in the second half, Llorentes was tripped on the edge of the box by Gonzalo, who was dismissed, and Pirlo scored directly from the free kick. We all knew there was no comeback. We started well but did not take our two chances and soon the slick Juve machine was pressing us. We all sensed at half time, with a terrible inevitability, that Juve would win which they did 1-0.
We all hated to see Juve coach Conte and the team celebrate on the pitch after wards. Juventus are a very well organised team and really should have been playing on Tuesday or Wednesday in the Champions League. They failed to qualify at the expense of Galatasaray. It seems to me that we have now super clubs like Milan that once were like Barcelona and Bayern who compete at higher level than the very best domestic clubs like a Manchester City, Arsenal ,Juventus or Napoli. Thus, I consoled my fans and friends, Juventus are still short of their ambitions to be a Champions League superpower, whilst Fiorentina – in fourth place and having a satisfactory Europa League campaign – are probably paying beyond their level.