Roma vs. Fiorentina, final score 2-1: Roma back to winning ways

Paolo Bruno

After four straight draws, Roma finally have another three points -- and after fifteen matches, the giallorossi still remain unbeaten.

That's fifteen in a row for Roma, whose win over Fiorentina puts them back to within three points of table-topping Juventus. The viola, meanwhile, miss out on the opportunity to leapfrog Inter Milan and grab hold of fourth place.

The first half at the Olimpico was certainly a fun one, even if it didn't quite measure up to Fiorentina's match on Monday, in which they traded goals back and forth with Hellas Verona as both defenses -- and goalkeepers -- went to pieces. Well, the viola defense continued to go to pieces in this one as well, and it was only due to Roma's wastefulness that the hosts weren't up by two or three at the halftime whistle.

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Although it was Fiorentina that put immediate pressure on Morgan De Sanctis in the Roma goal, it was the giallorossi that took the early lead. A fantastic ball over the top got things started, and Gervinho forced Neto into a save. Of some sort. The viola keeper couldn't keep hold of the ball, allowing it to fall to Maicon, who had no difficulty tapping in from close range.

Roma, well aware that they wouldn't be able to keep up their pace and pressure for the entirety of the match, and knowing of the visitors' danger late in games, immediately tried for a second. Alessandro Florenzi's shot was blocked, and Neto pulled off a fantastic save on header from Daniele De Rossi, although it rather looked like the goalkeeper was more concerned with protecting his face than anything else. Miralem Pjanić  looked desperate for a goal, seeing a few strikes stopped by a rather panicked Fiorentina defense before he got on the end of a ball from Adem Ljajić only to skew his shot.

Fiorentina took advantage of the hosts' wastefulness, getting their equalizer at the half hour mark. Nenad Tomović zipped up the right, going all the way to the byline before pulling back. It looked like he'd hit the ball too hard as it flew past the majority of the viola players, but Juan Vargas was waiting, putting his left-footed shot over the head of De Sanctis.

It was more of the same in the second half, end to end football with both sides missing early opportunities to pull ahead. The visitors were more wasteful, with Alberto Aquilani pulling off a contender for "worst miss of the season". The midfielder nearly had an open goal, with De Sanctis heading the other way, but he somehow contrived to sidefoot his shot well wide off the Roma goal. Two minutes later, it was Kevin Strootman hitting the post and giving Neto quite a fright.

Roma just had that slight edge, however, and thus were able to capitalize in the 67th minute. In homage to Fiorentina's goal, Gervinho, playing magnificently once again, breezed past Aquilani, got behind Tomović and took the ball to the byline before pulling back. Mattia Destro, on less than ten minutes before to replace Florenzi, was waiting in the area and had no trouble putting it into the bottom corner. What a way for the forward to mark his return after six months out with injury.

Just two minutes later, Fiorentina very nearly found their equalizer once more. Leandro Castán fouled Giuseppe Rossi, but it was Manuel Pasqual that took the free kick. The captain's shot curled over the wall and headed toward the far corner, but a flying De Sanctis managed to palm the ball to safety.

The viola had a chance to get back into it when Roma went down to ten men in the 88th. Pjanić, booked for a challenge in the first half, got a second yellow for fouling David Pizarro. Fiorentina were once again on the offensive, but Castán managed a perfect tackle to keep Rossi from getting that last minute equalizer.

AS Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia, Castán, Dodô; Pjanić, De Rossi, Strootman; Florenzi (Destro 58, Bradley 90), Ljajić (Taddei 72), Gervinho

Goals: Maicon 7', Destro 67'

Fiorentina: Neto; Tomović, Rodríguez, Savić, Pasqual; Aquilani (Pizarro 72), Ambrosini (Joaquín 79), Borja Valero; Cuadrado, Rossi, Vargas

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