Fiorentina vs. Genoa, final score 3-3: Thriller in Florence ends with the points split

Gabriele Maltinti

An Alberto Aquilani hat-trick wasn't enough to give Fiorentina all of the points as Genoa simply wouldn't lie down and return home with a hard-fought point.

Vincenzo Montella made five changes from the Fiorentina side that beat Catania 3-0 in their last league encounter, with three of them enforced - injuries to Borja Valero and Nenad Tomović and the suspension of Gonzalo Rodríguez meaning Alberto Aquilani, Facundo Roncaglia and Marvin Compper could come in, whilst Matías Fernández and Juan Vargas dropped out for Massimo Ambrosini and Joaquín. Gian Piero Gasperini made four changes to the side that overcame Inter last week with Nicolas Burdisso making his debut in place of Stefano Sturaro and Paolo De Ceglie, Matuzalém and Moussa Konaté playing in place of Šime Vrsaljko, Isaac Cofie and Ioannis Fetfatzidis.

Unsurprisingly, it was Fiorentina who made the better start and in the fourth minute they had a great opportunity for Alessandro Matri to open the scoring. He was fed in beyond the sleeping Genoa defence and calmly touched the ball around the oncoming Mattia Perin. Matri's touch took him a little too wide and the Genoa goalkeeper was able to just about recover and divert the ball out of play.

After more pressure from the home side, Juan Cuadrado crossed in for Massimo Ambrosini however the midfielder's effort looped up and was easily gathered by Perin.

Despite offering little, Genoa still managed to carve out an opportunity on the counter attack, Alberto Gilardino being fed into the box by Moussa Konaté however Facundo Roncaglia managed to get across and deflect the ball round the post.

Fiorentina were soon back on top and another good opportunity presented itself, this time as Cuadrado's cross was flicked on to an unmarked Manuel Pasqual on the left hand side of the box. The Viola captain was able to take a touch before firing in an effort that was deflected over the bar by the back of a sprawling Luca Antonelli.

Despite their open play being roundly poor, Genoa were given the chance to go ahead in the 26th minute due to some dubious refereeing. Luca Antonelli managed to break into the box and although it appeared as if Neto came in with a reckless challenge, there was minimal contact and Antonelli went to ground seconds after the Brazilian goalkeeper came in. The dive worked however as Alberto Gilardino was given the chance to score from the spot, one which he took with typical aplomb, placing the ball high to Neto's left.

Six minutes later and Fiorentina had a penalty of their own, this one far more clear cut than the one awarded at the other end. As a Pasqual cross made its way into the box, Massimo Ambrosini was wrenched to the ground by Sebastian Di Maio and although the French defender protested, the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Alberto Aquilani stepped up and made no mistake, sending Perin the wrong way.

Just a minute later and Genoa were sensationally back in front. Matuzalém's pass took a ricochet into the path of Luca Antonini who had made his way up from defence and he was able to steer a right-footed effort past Neto to restore the Grifone's barely-deserved lead.

Eight minutes after Genoa went ahead for the second time and Fiorentina were level again. Alberto Aquilani's clever backheel found Massimo Ambrosini in the box and after some pinball between Ambrosini and the surrounding Genoa defenders, the ball fell back to Aquilani who took a touch and rifled a low effort past Perin.

Early in the second half, Cuadrado came close as he cut in from the left and unleashed a fierce shot however it was deflected over by Luca Antonelli. From the resulting corner, Aquilani thought he had his hat-trick as he headed in at the back post following a flick-on but the linesman's flag was raised despite replays appearing to show Aquilani onside as the ball was flicked.

Genoa nearly went ahead for a third time as Moussa Konaté's diving header came off the inside of the post and agonisingly bounced across the goal-line, but with no Genoa players there to take advantage, the ball was cleared to safety by Stefan Savić.

Just before the hour mark, Fiorentina went ahead for the first time and Aquilani got his richly deserved hat-trick. He was played into the box by Joaquín and his angled drive was deflected over Perin by the outstretched boot of Nicolas Burdisso.

Fiorentina started to look more comfortable after going into the lead for the first time and although they didn't create any clear opportunities, their possession game managed to restrict Genoa, however with 13 minutes to go, Genoa managed to get a corner and they took their opportunity with both hands as Sebastian Di Maio poked home at the back post after the ball went clean over Luca Antonini's head, offering redemption to the French defender after giving away a penalty in the first half.

Fiorentina pressed and prodded for the final 13 minutes after the equaliser but were unable to make much of an impression, only Matias Fernández's volley going wide after substitute Anderson's knock-down and Facundo Roncaglia's long-range effort agonisingly drifting past the post threatened as Genoa managed to block out the result and take a hard-fought point back home with them.

Fiorentina: Neto; Roncaglia, Compper, Savić, Pasqual; Aquilani (Anderson 74), Pizarro, Ambrosini (Fernández 55); Cuadrado (Matos 81), Matri, Joaquin

Goals: Aquilani pen 33, 42, 57

Genoa: Perin; De Maio, Burdisso, Antonini; Marchese (Fetfatzidis 61), Bertolacci, Antonelli, De Ceglie (Stoian 71); Matuzalém; Konaté (Cofie 82), Gilardino

Goals: Gilardino pen 27; Antonini 34; Di Maio 78.

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