Fiorentina left frustrated in bid for Europe after dropping points to gallant Genoa

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Fiorentina left frustrated in bid for Europe after dropping points to gallant Genoa

Lucas Beltran, left, and Albert Gudmundsson battle for the ball
Lucas Beltran, left, and Albert Gudmundsson battle for the ballAFP
VAR turned from friend to foe for Genoa, who took the lead from the penalty spot in their 1-1 draw with ACF Fiorentina before having another overturned, as it denied Alberto Gilardino’s men a first victory at the Stadio Artemio Franchi since Serie A adopted the three points-per-win rule.

With one eye on their upcoming UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg, Vincenzo Italiano opted to make six changes to his Viola line-up but how this would impact the club’s dominant head-to-head record would have to be seen.

 The hosts thought they had made the perfect start when Andrea Belotti struck midway through the first half, though VAR intervened to rule the goal out.

The striker had been sent through on goal by Lucas Beltran to finish low across Josep Martinez’s net, only for it to be found his shoulder had narrowly extended into an offside position.

That small margin would turn out to be detrimental as it allowed Genoa to reset and later correctly benefit from a refereeing decision once again. Under pressure, a back-pass from Lucas Martínez Quarta caused all kinds of chaos in the hosts’ penalty area.

Pietro Terracciano did well to deny Caleb Ekuban’s initial effort, however, the forward could not reach the follow-up as he was tripped by Fabiano Parisi.

Referee Davide Di Marco pointed to the spot without hesitation, and three minutes before the break, it was Albert Gudmundsson who set his side en route to what would have been a historical win from the resulting penalty.

As a result, Italiano called upon the experience of Arthur Melo for the second half. The hosts sat only seven points off European qualification prior to kick-off, so despite having European ambitions, their Serie A campaign also remains far from over. 

Their manager’s half-time dressing down and alterations quickly had the desired impact, as Jonathan Ikone levelled up within nine minutes of the restart by heading in Giacomo Bonaventura’s cross at the back post.

All of that hard work looked to come crashing down when Di Marco signalled for another penalty in Genoa’s favour late on, as he believed Michael Kayode to have hauled Mateo Retegui to the ground as a corner was floated in. However, upon a second look via the pitchside monitor, the referee overturned his original decision.

With 20 minutes to spare, both teams pressed for the winner, though were unable to craft an opportunity worthy of stealing all three points. The hosts must now prepare for a pivotal continental clash, whilst the visitors travel home left to rue the denial of a landmark result.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Giacomo Bonaventura (Fiorentina)

Fiorentina - Genoa player ratings
Fiorentina - Genoa player ratingsFlashscore

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