Fiorentina lost 0-1 away to ther hated rivals Juventus on Sunday and now play them this Thursday and the following one in the Europa League.
The bitterness goes back to 1982 when the scudetto went to the last game. Juve were at Catanzaro and awarded a late penalty, whilst Fiorentina were refused one at Cagliari. This led to the banner “Better second than a thief”. Ironically, Fiorentina were demoted a few seasons ago with Juve for irregularities in which both clubs were complicit. In 1990 when, after crowd trouble in the UEFA Cup final against Juventus, Fiorentina were ordered to play their home games in Avellino, a Juve stronghold, which decision we felt biased. However the real catalyst was the sale of Roby Baggio to Juve which led to 6 days rioting here. Baggio did play for Juve in Florence, refused to take a penalty and left the pitch draped in a Viola shirt.
This season, after being 2 down at home, the Viola scored 4 in the second half. But then we had Pepito Rossi, top scorer in Europe. Last Sunday in a sterile performance we had two late chances to equalise but missed them. Juventus are coasting in the Serie a, as are Bayern and Paris St Germain in their respective leagues. We are envious of the competitiveness of the Premier.
On Thursday we will be hoping for a tight defensive performance in Turin to bring ‘The Old Lady” back to a hostile Artemio Franchi, where the passion of our fans will be worth a goal.