Fiorentina 2-0 Liverpool: Wonderkid Stevan Jovetic Downs Reds
Teenage wonderkid Stevan Jovetic was the hero with a brilliant double as Liverpool’s first away fixture of their 2009/10 Champions League campaign ended in misery after they lost 2-0 to Fiorentina on Tuesday evening at the Stadio Franchi.
The Reds were unbeaten on their travels in Europe’s elite competition last season but 19-year-old forward Jovetic put paid to their chances of repeating that feat.
The Viola were without the suspended Alberto Gilardino, meaning a start for Jovetic behind Adrian Mutu. Cristiano Zanetti returned from suspension. Yossi Benayoun recovered from injury for Liverpool, but Javier Mascherano was sidelined.
Fiorentina dominated right from the start and went close on a number of occasions in the first 20 minutes through Jovetic and Marco Marchionni.
Jovetic finally gave the Viola a deserved lead in the 28th minute when he got on the end of a Zanetti pass and slid the ball past Pepe Reina.
Nine minutes later, Rafa Benitez’s side found themselves 2-0 down when Jovetic deflected a Juan Manuel Vargas rocket past Reina, effectively sealing the home side’s first three points in the competition this year.
Fiorentina continued to dominate, but could not add a third before half time.
Liverpool improved greatly after the break, and began to apply the pressure on Fiorentina as they looked to get something out of the game.
A well-hit Yossi Benayoun shot was parried by Sebastien Frey in the Gigliati goal, gifting the away side a corner kick. However, Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva failed to make the most of the set-piece, heading over the bar from six yards.
Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard saw efforts on goal thwarted as the five-time European Cup winners desperately sought to beat Frey.
Torres was off target when he connected with a Martin Skrtel cross to volley over.
Jovetic had the crowd on their feet after a stunning run that included two nutmegs and a swivel – leaving in no doubt who the man of the match was. Fiorentina collect their first three points in this season’s Champions League, and move into second place above Liverpool on head-to-head. Lyon are top with six points after beating Debrecen.