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Fiorentina File: Fiorentina 1 FC Basel 2 (Conference semi final)

Fiorentina were expected to beat FC Basel but lost to two late goals.

A couple of months ago la Viola were storming up serie a and looked to be a real force but throughout this competition the Swiss side have been unpredictable.

They took the long route to the semis and – in the last round – went to Nice defending a 2-2 home draw but triumphed there, again with 2 late goals.

In the absence of the strapping Serb Malenkovic, Fiorentina are fragile and porous in defence; Amrabat is not the forceful midfielder that played so effectively for Morocco in the recent World Cup; Jonathan Ikone, who was bought expensively from Lille, has only scored six goals.

Cabral – bought ironically from Basel – has been a fine acquisition and opened the scoring.

In the second half Fiorentina fell apart.

With five Italian sides left in European competition (Inter, Milan, Juventus, Roma and ourselves) has there been a major Italian revival?

Not really.

Whilst Inter looked good in their 2-0 defeat of Milan I cannot see them beating either Real Madrid or Manchester City in the final.

Italian clubs can no longer compete with the ‘big boys’.

Finally, I must congratulate Napoli on their first scudetto in 33 years.

This is a club that has suffered bankruptcy and demotion to c2 but the support of their passionate fans has never wavered.

For them alone I was happy to see Napoli crowned as champions last Sunday and we – as their opponents in the Sun Carlo Stadio – gave them the guard of honour.

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About Stefano Ursolini

The son of a leading Florentine art dealer, Stefano initially worked in the Uffizi Gallery. He went into journalism and soon became a popular stringer writing on Tuscan wines, art and football. Stefano lives with his partner Umberto in the Santa Croce quarter of Florence. A dedicated supporter of AC Fiorentina his elegant articles on the Viola as well as the Serie A have earned him an appreciative global audience. More Posts