Debrecen 3 – 4 Fiorentina: La Viola Prevail In Seven Goal Thriller
The hosts started the game brilliantly, but the Italians bounced back to pick up the full three points on away soil.
The home side were off to a great start when Peter Czvitkovics gifted them an early lead, but Fiorentina fought back and eventually recorded a comfortable win via goals from Adrian Mutu (2x), Alberto Gilardino andMario Santana. Gergely Rudolf scored a second goal for Debrecen, but it was too little too late.
The home side started the match with attacking intentions and got their reward after only two minutes. Adamo Coulibaly set Jozsef Varga, who reached Peter Czvitkovics with a delicious ball to the back post and the latter did not fail to open the score from close range.
Fiorentina were not too impressed though and drew things level again only minutes later. Dario Dainelli latched on to a long cross and sent the ball back in the box for Romanian hitman Adrian Mutu, who steered the ball against the back of the net from ten yards out.
The tricky attacker was involved in La Viola’s next attack as well. Mutu found space in the area and aimed for the totally unmarked Alberto Gilardino, who once again proved to be a clinical finisher to help his team to a 2-1 lead after just ten minutes.
Coulibaly nearly shocked the guests with an immediate response seconds after Gilardino’s goal. Czvitkovics got away down the flank and dinked a ball into the box for the French forward. However, Coulibaly aimed wide and the chance went begging.
Mutu scored his second of the game after twenty minutes of play and this time around it was Gilardino who provided the assist. The Italian international held on to the ball well before laying the ball of for his partner in crime up front and Mutu left the Hungarian goalie without a chance with a strong shot.
Rudolf picked the ball up deep halfway the first half and had a shot at goal from 25-yards. Nevertheless, Sebastien Frey got down to push the ball away from a corner, which the Italians defended well.
Frey was unable to deny the Debrecen striker after 28 minutes though. Rudolf picked the ball up 25-yards out, slightly to the left of centre surrounded by four Viola shirts. The attacker jinked past the first two challenges before he bent a superbly accurate shot into the very top corner of the net from the corner of the box.
Coulibaly saw a goal disallowed for offside about ten minutes before the break and even though the crowd reacted furious to the referee’s decision, there was no room doubt about the striker’s offside position.
Juan Vargas sent in a cross for Mutu after 37 minutes and the former Juventus man tried his luck with a good attempt. Vukasin Poleksic managed to deny the Romanian, but the rebound rolled straight into the happy feet of Mario Santana, who had no trouble finding the empty net.
Both sides kept on attacking after the break and Mutu almost got his hattrick five minutes after the interval. Vargas sent in a superb cross that was met by the forward, but Mutu’s header went just wide of the post to make it a goal-kick.
Brazilian midfielder Leandro opted to test the Fiorentina goalie from long-range at the hour mark and his powerful shot caused Frey all kinds of trouble. The French glovesman somehow managed to scramble the ball wide though.
Coulibaly almost added his name to the score sheet with about fifteen more minutes to go. The former Antwerp forward got possession inside the area, but his shot from twelve yards out only hit the side-netting.
The prolific striker got yet another chance with five more minutes to go. Marco Donadel won the challenge in midfield, but the ball somewhat fortunate fell into Coulibaly’s path and the forward could have made it 4-3. However, Frey made a superb save to deny his compatriot.
Coulibaly finally got his goal in the dying minutes of the game. Laszlo Bodnar sent in a perfect cross for the French target man, who beat Alessandro Gamberini to the ball before heading the seventh goal of the evening past the Fiorentina goalie.