Fiorentina rally to stun reigning champions


Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - Page 18

Giuseppe Rossi scored a hat-trick for ACF Fiorentina in a stunning come-from-behind 4-2 win over Juventus on Sunday, which helped AS Roma maintain their five-point lead at the top of Serie A.

Despite Juventus holding a 2-0 lead at halftime following a Carlos Tevez penalty and a strike from Paul Pogba, the champions crumbled during 14 second-half minutes in which La Viola staged a remarkable comeback.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte insisted his side had not been sidetracked by thoughts of their UEFA Champions League trip to Real Madrid tomorrow, but while claiming Juve dominated throughout, he admitted his side were unrecognizable late in the second half.

“We dominated them in every department and had the game wrapped up,” Conte said. “Then the unimaginable happened — we lost a game that we were dominating. Those 10 minutes changed everything and we conceded some strange goals. It just wasn’t like us.”

“This is the best result ever,” Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella said. “It’s already difficult to score against Juve, so putting four past them gives us immense satisfaction.”

Fiorentina’s win was not the only shock of the day, though, with Atalanta BC securing a precious 2-1 win at home to SS Lazio thanks to German Denis’ 84th-minute winner.

Genoa edged AC Chievo Verona 2-1, UC Sampdoria won by the same scoreline away to AS Livorno, as did promoted US Sassuolo at home to Bologna.

Early season surprise packages Hellas Verona kept their place in the top five thanks to a 3-2 win over Parma, helped by a pair of penalties from Jorginho.

Hellas Verona moved up to fourth, while 10-man Inter moved the other way after a dramatic 3-3 draw away to Torino.

In their first match since Indonesian tycoon Erick Thohir bought a majority 70 percent share in the club, Inter were left with a mountain to climb after just six minutes.

Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was shown a straight red card after a 50-50 challenge on Torino striker Alessio Cerci, prompting his replacement by Juan Pablo Carrizo and forcing coach Walter Mazzarri to take off Mateo Kovacic.

The match was all square at halftime after Fredy Guarin’s spectacular overhead-kick leveled Alexander Farnerud’s 21st-minute opener for Torino.

Eight minutes after the restart Ciro Immobile put Torino back in front, only for Rodrigo Palacio to hit a brace, both goals coming after good work from Ishak Belfodil, to give Inter a 3-2 lead with 19 minutes remaining.

Inter looked to have done enough to seal the win, but after Torino won a free-kick at the death, Nicola Bellomo curled the ball over a packed penalty area and inside the far corner of Carrizo’s net.

Meanwhile, Rossi’s triple strike means the former Manchester United striker is now Serie A’s top scorer with eight goals from eight games.

He beat Gianluigi Buffon from the penalty spot in the 66th minute and leveled with a superbly struck angled shot minutes later.

Just as Arturo Vidal, who started on the bench after missing training due to a late return from Chile, was preparing to replace Claudio Marchisio for the final quarter of an hour, Fiorentina took the lead.

Unmarked Joaquin beat Buffon with a precise right-foot shot at his near post to claim his first goal in Serie A and Rossi grabbed his third when Fiorentina caught Juve sleeping on the counterattack.

Additional reporting by staff writer