Fiore must take positives from Bayern performance
On any other day Fiorentina would have headed home satisfied with a 2-1 defeat at the Alliance Arena. However, Miroslav KloseÃ¢ÂÂs winner for Bayern Munich was so blatantly offside that the ViolaÃ¢ÂÂs confidence could well be shaken to the core even more.
The last thing Cesare Prandelli and his men can afford is another period of extended navel-gazing entering into this crucial period of the season. The club has been extremely fragile since Adrian Mutu's crash diet.
And last night in Germany, conspiracy theories concerning the officiating were trotted out from the moment anyone involved with the club could get in front of a microphone.
Klose-range winner from offside position
But in the sober light of day, the team should take the positives home from Munich.
The home side did not look like EuropeÃ¢ÂÂs form team Ã¢ÂÂ something that had been trumpeted in the build-up to the tie Ã¢ÂÂ and certainly not like prospective European champions.
In short, Bayern are there for the taking in the second leg. The Viola, after all, have that all-important goal in their back pocket and can call on those evenings earlier in the competition when they outplayed both Liverpool and Lyon at the Artemio Franchi.
On the other hand, exiting the competition at this stage could well send the team into free-fall.
Prandelli, tipped to replace Marcello Lippi as Italy coach after the World Cup, needs to concentrate on club rather than country. For the first time in his five-year tenure there have been rumblings of discontent towards the saintly Cesare after the team picked up just one point in the last five games.
However, he has taken measures to arrest the slide and away from home we should expect a more pragmatic approach.
Prandelli: "No, try going just there"
With the inexperienced Stevan Jovetic unable to provide requisite consistency in the creative department, the 4-1-4-1 formation which nullified Bayern will now be the norm.
Alberto Gilardino may have been going through a barren spell in front of goal but his work-rate and willingness to create space for others has not been blunted.
Riccardo Montolivo was handed the captainÃ¢ÂÂs armband when Dario Dainelli and Martin Jorgensen left the club in the winter break, and despite his inexperience wearing the armband he has demonstrated leadership qualities.
Once again Prandelli must be applauded for reinventing a player, much as he did with Juan Vargas Ã¢ÂÂ who has been transformed from an ordinary left-back into a dynamic all-rounder along the flank.
This time it was the labouring Montolivo who received the make-over treatment and he is much more comfortable playing in a withdrawn role where his wide range of passing can be better exploited.
Rather than lament on what has gone before Fiorentina should concentrate on using this adversity and turning it into an opportunity to re-ignite their season.
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