Paratici Issues Top-Four Warning to Pirlo as Fiorentina Hold Juventus

Fiorentina and Juventus played out a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday afternoon. While Andrea Pirlo cannot be happy about the outcome, the point brings Giuseppe Iachini’s side a step closer towards keeping the Serie A status.

The result dented Juventus’ hopes of securing a top-four finish and place in the Champions League group stage next season. With Napoli and Atalanta yet to play their matches, the Bianconeri could drop to fifth in the Serie A standings by tomorrow night.

In-form Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic tricked Wojciech Szczesny from the sport with a cheeky Panenka, putting the hosts in front just before the half-hour mark. 

Aaron Ramsey came close to leveling the score on the stroke of half-time but missed the target from point-blank range. However, Alvaro Morata restored the stalemate a minute into the second half with an exquisite finish from the edge of the box.

In what was a frantic second half, neither side managed to take advantage of their chances to claim all three points. 

The Turin visitors nearly completed the comeback in the final stage of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo was only a fraction short of Dejan Kuluseviski’s cross, with Bartlomiej Dragowski off his line and nowhere near the ball.

The Portuguese superstar has now failed to find the net in his last three Serie A outings, with Juventus now winless in two of their previous three league fixtures (D1, L1).

Meanwhile, La Viola are now six points clear of relegation-threatened Cagliari, who will face Roma later today. So not the ideal outcome for Fiorentina neither, especially considering the effort they put up against reigning Italian champions.

However, Andrea Pirlo is the one who could be the biggest loser here, especially if this draw comes back to haunt him. The Italian has been under severe pressure for some time and could be axed if Juventus miss out on a top-four finish.

Asked if Pirlo will still be Juventus’ coach next season before the game, the Bianconeri CEO Fabio Paratici had hinted that everything would depend on whether he can guide his side to the Champions League.

Yes, if we make it to the Champions League. There is no plan B in case of non-Champions. We are confident in what we are doing, and this is our only thought. If we make it to the Champions League, he will be the coach.

In the meantime, the former Milan midfielder delivered his verdict on his team’s performance in Florence.

My initial expectations were different, and I don’t think I worked as I wanted and as we all wanted. Compared to our initial perspectives, I am not happy, and I don’t think the club is either.

Our first half was very bad, we had to approach it differently considering this was a fundamental game for the Champions League. We were too late, a little aggressive, and didn’t try to play deep.

After Danilo’s injury yesterday we had to change, we tried to play with three man at the back plus two wingbacks playing high and two players between the lines like Ramsey and Dybala. It didn’t work out and after the break we sent in Morata, whom we were keeping on the bench to change the pace of the game.