Fiorentina vs. Torino, Final Score 4-3: Viola snatch late winner to deny stirring Torino comeback

Dino Panato

Torino came back from three goals down in Florence to level the scores, but a late winner from Romulo spelt heartbreak for the brave Granata.

Following on from last week's solid 2-0 win over Atalanta, Vincenzo Montella made four changes to his Fiorentina side in switching from 3-4-2-1 to 4-3-3. Nenad Tomovic, Stefan Savic, Marcelo Larrondo and Adem Ljajic came in for Facundo Roncaglia, Manuel Pasqual, Mohamed Sissoko and Mounir El Hamdaoui. After their unlucky defeat to Roma, Giampiero Ventura made just two changes with Danilo D'Ambrosio replacing Salvatore Masiello at left-back and Gonzalo Barreto playing in place of captain Rolando Bianchi up front.

Whilst Fiorentina were expected to be on top from the start, it was Torino who had the first clear chance of the match, Riccardo Meggiorini with some strong work down the left channel, pulling back for the late-arriving Alessio Cerci who's side-footed effort was deflected wide by Stefan Savic.

The Viola soon got themselves into the match and just two minutes later they were ahead, Juan Cuadrado coming in off the right wing, turning Mario Santana inside out and unleashing an audacious chip from inside the box. Jean-Francois Gillet could only get a fingertip to it and Fiorentina had an important lead.

With some of the pressure released, the Viola midfield trio of Borja Valero, Alberto Aquilani and David Pizarro really began to run things and Torino could barely even get near the ball. In the 15th minute, the lead was deservedly doubled. Borja Valero's corner found its way back out to him and his second cross found Alberto Aquilani, his bullet header was straight at Gillet but such was the power on it that the Belgian could only parry it into the roof of the net.

The home side continued to dominate and with a two-goal cushion were happy just to retain possession. As such, there was little in the way of goalmouth action with the Fiorentina midfield passing the ball and the Torino players chasing the ball to no avail.

Fiorentina did get the opportunity to extend their lead when Matteo Darmian tripped David Pizarro just outside the box. Adem Ljajic stepped up for the free kick and curled it over the wall and in, again Gillet got a hand to it but again it wasn't enough and Fiorentina appeared to be over the hill and out of sight.

Bizarrely, the third goal seemed to be the one that finally kicked the visitors into life and Torino began to string a few passes together and create some chances. Gonzalo Barreto evaded an attempted Viola offside trap and crossed for an unmarked Giuseppe Vives at the back post, but the midfielder's attempt was well over. This was to be a warning shot however as the Granata had a goal back before half time. Mario Santana broke forward and passed for Barreto, who's side-footed effort evaded Viviano to find the corner and give the visitors just a glimmer of hope.

The goal was at the best possible time for Torino and they exploded out of the blocks in the second half, looking a completely different side to the one that started the match. Similarly, Fiorentina looked different and were now being pushed right back into their own half, all the pressure coming from Torino.

Ten minutes after the break, Torino got a deserved second and it came from the lively Santana. The former Fiorentina player cut in from his left flank, passed to Barreto, who moved the ball on to Riccardo Meggiorini. Meggiorini then touched the ball on again for Santana, who had continued his run, to shoot low at Viviano, the ball squirming under the 'keeper who should've done better.

Torino kept the pressure on and Fiorentina looked in disarray at the back, Rolando Bianchi forcing a fantastic reflex save from Viviano with a powerful header.

The Viola briefly threatened on the break as Juan Cuadrado received the ball from substitute Romulo, jinked between two Granata defenders and poked the ball past Gillet, the shot sliding agonisingly wide.

Just two minutes after Cuadrado came close to restoring Fiorentina's two-goal advantage, Torino drew level. Former Fiorentina winger Alessio Cerci cut in from the right flank before unleashing a left-footed thunderbolt from 25 yards, leaving Viviano with no chance and completing a sensational comeback.

Cerci again broke down the right hand side two minutes after his equaliser and Torino had a three-on-two situation however his pass was just about cut out by a recovering Marvin Compper, saving a potentially very dangerous situation for the bedraggled hosts.

It was Fiorentina who would have the last laugh however, as three minutes from time they got a stunning winner. Substitutes Matias Fernandez and Mounir El Hamdaoui combined to work the ball to the third substitute, Romulo who shook off the attentions of Kamil Glik to finish past Gillet and steal all three points for the Viola. They held on for the points which they barely deserved, however they now sit just one point off Milan and the final Champions League place with the Rossoneri set to take on Juventus later on.

Fiorentina: Viviano; Tomovic, Savic, Rodriguez, Compper; Valero, Pizarro, Aquilani (Romulo 73); Cuadrado, Larrondo (El Hamdaoui 81), Ljajic (Fernandez 63)

Torino: Gillet; Darmian, Glik, Ogbonna, D'Ambrosio; Cerci, Vives, Gazzi (Basha 46), Santana; Meggiorini (Bianchi 67), Barreto(Jonathas 72)

Goals: Cuadrado 8 (F), Aquilani 16 (F), Ljajic 33 (F), Barreto 45 (T), Santana 56 (T), Cerci 77 (T), Romulo 87 (F)

Sent off: Darmian 90+1 (T)

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