Report: Salah’s Fiorentina earn valuable away goal in draw with Tottenham
Fiorentina drew 1-1 with Tottenham at White Hart Lane in the first leg of their Europa League tie.
Egyptian international Mohamed Salah, who has starred for the Viola since recently joining on loan from Chelsea, started along side Mario Gomez in a 3-5-2 formation.
Fiorentina XI (3-5-2): Tatarusanu; Basanta, Gonzalo, Savic; Joaquin, Mati Fernandez, Pizarro, Borja Valero, Pasqual; Salah, Gomez.
Tottenham XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c); Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Bentaleb, Paulinho; Chadli, Eriksen, Townsend; Soldado.
It was Tottenham who started lively and had the better of the chances, Nacer Chadli was slipped in nicely but Tatarusanu pulled of a great save with his legs to deny Spurs. However the following corner resulted in the first goal, Andros Townsend’s cross met Soldado, who finished sublimely on the volley to make it 1-0.
The Viola grew as the game went on, and when Salah got a bit lucky with a deflection, his shot was blocked brilliantly by Vertonghen. As half-time approached Fiorentina found their equalizer. Argentine defender José Basanta turned home a parried away Fernandez free-kick to get the Italians a vital away goal.
The second half saw a change of tactics for Montella which was later seen as successful, Joaquín was changed to the left flank to bock the dangerous side of Kyle Walker and Townsend, who were having a field day against Basanta.
Spurs reacted by subbing on their star striker Harry Kane, but it was a Viola striker that nearly scored – Gomez was set free by Mati but his shot was just over the crossbar. As the game went on it was Tottenham who were looking to bring a lead to Italy, however, Fiorentina were defensively solid and were able to see off the draw.
Fiorentina will now face Torino at home on Sunday night as they chase Napoli for that important third spot. However, the Viola will be satisfied with this draw and they have the advantage when they face Tottenham next week at Stadio Artemio Franchi.
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