Fiorentina 1-1 Cagliari: Late Pinilla header denies Viola victory
A 89th minute Mauricio Pinilla header cancelled out a close range header by Spanish midfielder Borja Valero, as the Viola lost Juan Cuadrado and Mario Gomez to injuries and also had David Pizarro dismissed.
In a largely uneventful opening 30 minutes it was the home side that dominated possession but with both sides committing several unnecessary fouls the opening exchanges lacked little in the way of scoring opportunities.
On the half hour mark Fiorentina suffered their first withdrawal through injury when Cuadrado was forced off with a shoulder injury, falling awkwardly after challenging the impressive Radja Nainggolan.
However, after the Colombian had been replaced by summer signing Joaquin, the Viola finally began to create more chances. A clever through ball by Alberto Aquilani to Valero released the Spaniard into the box only for his shot to be closed down and the resulting attempt by Mario Gomez also blocked by the Rossoblu defence.
With five minutes to go Valero dipped into his repertoire of tricks with a wonderfully imaginative back heeled flick into the path of Manuel Pasqual, however, the Viola captain dragged the shot with his weaker right foot wide.
Despite their attacking dominance it was the visitors who should have gone in at half-time ahead when Gabriele Perico had a long range effort blocked by Pasqual the resulting corner was flicked on by Daniele Conti to Davide Astori who headed over just yards from goal.
Just minutes into the second half Gomez broke into the Cagliari box, but as he attempted to round Michael Agazzi the pair clashed and he shot over. From the subsequent collision the German was forced off with the Fiorentina medical team taking no chances and immediately applying ice and strapping to his right knee.
On 68 minutes Pasqual played a low driven cross across the Rossoblu box and as defender Luca Rossettini attempted to intercept the ball he sent it crashing against his own crossbar.
Moments later Fiorentina had made the breakthrough after another cross from the Viola captain reached the head of Giuseppe Rossi and with his header deflecting off a Cagliari defender it dropped perfectly into the path of Valero who nodded past Agazzi from close range.
With the home side apparently settling for a one goal victory Cagliari striker Victor Ibarbo cleverly cut back onto his left foot before delivering a perfect cross for Pinilla to rise above the Fiorentina defence and head past Neto.
With five minutes injury time announced Rossi broke into the Sardinians box and as he fell under the challenge of Nicola Murra Pizarro showed his displeasure at the lack of a penalty award too strongly for referee Andrea De Marco and was shown a red card by the official.
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