This should have been an easy victory for Fiorentina, playing host to a side hovering just two points above the drop. The Viola started Sunday in third, with impressive victories to their name, including a 3-0 win over Palermo just before the break. But the home side seemed to have their minds on what might be, rather than the match at hand, and came away with a 2-0 loss to Pescara.
The first half was all Fiorentina, as the visitors found it difficult to even get the ball across the halfway line. The Viola launched a plethora of shots at the Pescara goal, but Mattia Perin as absolutely immense, able to push away or smother anything that got past his defense. Fiorentina were reduced to taking shots from distance, but even as those shots were on target, Perin was still able to stop the likes of Stevan Jovetic and Alberto Aquilani.
Credit to Pescara and Cristiano Bergodi, however: they never looked as though they were playing for just a point. Sure, they had just two shots on goal during the first half, but that was more due to being pinned back than any lack of effort in their attack.
The visitors started the second half determined to find space, and the strategy paid off. Vladimír Weiss sent in a lovely cross from the left, which Jonathas rose to meet, nodding the ball past Neto. 58 minutes in and Pescara had a shock lead.
But Fiorentina had been in this position before, and they believed they knew how to put the cheeky visitors in their place. Adem Ljajic came in for Luca Toni, and the Viola looked for a way through the Pescara defense -- and past the hands of Perin. Ljajic had a great chance for a header, but somehow contrived to miss from close range. He then fed Matías Fernández, but Perin was there once again. The barrage of shots continued, but Pescara were up for the challenge. For a side that has recorded 6-1 and 5-1 losses to other top teams, they sure made defending look easy against Fiorentina.
And, shockingly enough, the delfini doubled their lead in stoppage time. Six minutes had been added, allowing plenty of time for an equalizer from Fiorentina. Instead it was Mervan Çelik who scored, racing up on the counter and sliding the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Fiorentina: Neto; Facundo Roncaglia, Nenad Tomovic, Stefan Savic; Juan Cuadrado, David Pizarro (Matías Fernández 65), Alberto Aquilani, Borja Valero, Manuel Pasqual (Haris Seferovic 78); Stevan Jovetic, Luca Toni (Adem Ljajic 60)
Pescara: Mattia Perin; Marco Capuano, Christian Terlizzi, Francesco Modesto, Antonio Balzano; Matti Nielsen, Eugenio Togni (Giuseppe Colucci 71), Birkir Bjarnason; Vladimír Weiss (Antonio Bocchetti 83), Jonathas (Elvis Abbruscato 85); Mervan Celik
Goals: Jonathas 58, Celik 90