Torino vs. Fiorentina, Final Score 2-2: Super subs create draw in Turin

Marco Luzzani

It was a sub-sational afternoon in Turin, as tactical choices by both managers created a draw that was only thrilling for the final fifteen minutes.

Fiorentina came from behind twice, breaking through Torino's well-organized defenses, to take a point away from Turin.

I'm not going to lie to you: the majority of this match was dull, dull, dull. The basic strategy of Torino seems to be making it as difficult as possible for their opponents to score, seizing opportunities rather than creating them. Fiorentina did their very best to create chances, but their attempts were stifled by the loss of both Alberto Aquilani and Luca Toni in the first half. Toro, meanwhile, lost Kamil Glik after the defender clashed with Toni, rendering him unconscious.

It took forty minutes for anything other than injury to occur. Torino took advantage of a failed shot by Juan Cuadrado to spring a brilliant counter attack. Danilo D'Ambrosio got forward to send a cross in, and Alessio Cerci pounced. The ex-Fiorentina man gave his side a 1-0 lead going into the break.

The goal seemed to light a spark within the Viola, but the visitors just couldn't fan the flames into a fire. Fiorentina peppered the goal with shots, but Torino were always there, determined to simply hang on to their advantage. The clock was ticking down on Fiorentina's five-match winning streak, but it sure wasn't ticking down fast enough for those of use watching the match.

But things suddenly got interesting fifteen minutes before the end of normal time. Cuadrado, who spent much of the match rolling around with one eye open, checking to see if anyone had noticed, finally saw his histrionics pay off. A clash with D'Ambrosio caused a tumble inside the area. The defender was rewarded with a yellow, Viola with a penalty. Gonzalo Rodríguez put it away to even the scoreline.

Suddenly Torino came alive, and it was less than two minutes before they'd retaken the lead. Valter Birsa, in for Cerci in the 66th minute, sent in a deceptive cross that turned into a goal. At first it looked as though Alen Stevanovic had got a toe on the ball, but the shot was just that impressive, bending in from a tight angle.

In hopes of salvaging a point from the match, Vincenzo Montella took off defender Facundo Roncaglia and replaced him with forward Mounir El Hamdaoui. The move paid off when El Hamdaoui scored just two minutes later. Cuadrado threaded the ball through for El Hamdaoui to send across the face of goal, settling in the bottom far corner, just out of reach of Jean-François Gillet.

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