Serie A 1994-95. Fiorentina, then coached by Claudio Ranieri, sit third in the standing with two points less than Parma, and one less than Juventus. Led by Gabriel Batistuta, who has been scoring consecutively in all the first eleven matches of the season (an unbroken record as of today), the Viola pay visit to the Bianconeri for the 12th Round on December 4. They hope to leave the Delle Alpi Stadium unbeaten, and maintain their presence among the top Scudetto contenders.
However, the start is all for Juventus: First, a header by Sergio Porrini calls Francesco Toldo to a miraculous save; then, Fabrizio Ravanelli dribbles the whole Viola defense including Toldo, but his shot is cleared right on the goal line by defender Marcio Santos.
Fiorentina, on the other hand, prove to be much more cynical and manage to gain a double lead within just 12 minutes. At 24’, Spadino (“Little Sword”) Anselmo Robbiati serves a delicious assist for Batistuta: The shot from the Re Leone (“Lion King”) is neutralized by Angelo Peruzzi, but Francesco Baiano is quick enough to tap the ball in. Twelve minutes later, Batistuta once again opens a breach in the Bianconeri’s defense, converting a long-range pass into a flank play for Angelo Carbone’s second goal.
After the break, Juve get back into the pitch determined to rebalance the match. Their multiple offences keep crashing and burning against Fiorentina’s solid defensive line until the 74th minute, when Gianluca Vialli reduces the gap with a header on assist by Ravanelli. Four minutes later, it’s again Vialli to equalise with a perfectly-timed shot.
Both teams look tired now, the match runs slowly and seems destined to end with a 2-2 tie. However, with just two minutes to go, Alessandro Orlando catches a ball just past the midfield line, and delivers a long-range lob pass from the left flank. A young Alessandro Del Piero, who is only 20 at the time, follows the ball and, from the left side of the box, hits it with perfect coordination. Del Piero’s soft volley gives the ball an awkward trajectory that Francesco Toldo, despite his 196 cms of height, fails to defuse.
Juventus’ come back is complete, thanks to Del Piero’s masterpiece.
December 4, 1994 – Serie A 1994-195 Round 12
SCORERS: 24’ Baiano (F), 36’ Carbone (F), 74’ Vialli (J), 78’ Vialli (J), 87’ Del Piero (J)
|JUVENTUS: Peruzzi, Ferrara, Orlando, Carrera, Porrini, Paulo Sousa, Torricelli, (54’ Tacchinardi), Marocchi, (75’ Jarni), Vialli, Del Piero, Ravanelli (Rampulla, Tognon, Grabbi) Coach: Lippi|
|FIORENTINA: Toldo, Carnasciali, Pioli, Cois, (90’ Flachi), Marcio Santos, Malusci, Robbiati, Carbone, Batistuta, Rui Costa, Baiano, (72’ Amerini) (Scalabrelli, Luppi, Sottil) Coach: Ranieri|
REFEREE: Mr. Stafoggia from Pesaro
NOTES: Yellow cards: Marocchi, Vialli (J), Amerini, Cois, Malusci (F)
Translated by Matteo Carnevale