Bayern Munich will take a slender lead to Florence after a controversial 2-1 win over Fiorentina in a hotly contested match which featured a number of odd decisions by the refereeing crew. Fiorentina’s Coach Cesare Prandelli was aggravated while club skipper Riccardo Montolivo could not believe his eyes and admitted the players are disheartened.
There is no point dwelling on what happened but the main question will be whether the Gigliati will put this defeat behind and use it as the fuel necessary to propel them to the next round or if they will hide behind these wrong decisions as an excuse for folding and exiting the competition. Prandelli’s players have been going through a dismal run with the players unable to achieve victory in recent matches with the attackers struggling to score and the defense leaking goals. Against the Bavarians the Gigliati players appeared to be motivated and could have easily escaped with a draw despite Bayern’s domination in terms of possession.
Fiorentina’s players appeared comfortable defending the 1-1 tie and only the decision to expel Massimo Gobbi and the two other unfortunate incidents involving Miroslav Klose altered the final score. The Italian club’s players will take heart from this but sometimes moral victories are not enough to overturn a European tie. Bayern’s players are not to blame in any form for the wrongful decisions by the referee and his assistants. Dutchman Arjen Robben continues to strike fear in opponents and he was the main catalyst (besides the woeful referee) behind the victory of the German side. French star Franck Ribery will be in better condition once the tie heads to Italy so Coach Prandelli will have his hands full trying to limit the threat emanating from those two players.
Fiorentina will be without the injured Alessandro Gamberini in defense but they must play with passion and commitment in order to prevent Bayern from scoring and then a narrow win could suffice. The Gigliati must be careful because the Bavarians completely outplayed, outhustled and outscored Juventus in Turin when the two teams met in the group’s penultimate match to decide the fate of the qualifying team. Bayern are quite capable of winning away from home and have many weapons which can bother Fiorentina’s shaky defense.
Will Prandelli be able to rally the troops to continue the fairytale run or will the German giants advance to continue their quest to reach the final? The neutral observant might be leaning towards Fiorentina not because they have anything against Bayern but due to the obvious calls which went against the Italian club. The Germans have two of the most exciting stars to watch in Ribery and Robben but the manner of the victory achieved must have left a bitter taste even for the Bavarian club.