Highlights and reaction: Fiorentina Primavera see off Napoli


Fiorentina Primavera secured a vital three points with a 2-1 defeat of Napoli on Saturday.

Alessandro Bianco handed the Viola a 1-0 lead on 39 minutes, pouncing on a loose ball after Bobby Duncan had seen his shot kept out by the Napoli goalkeeper. Emiliano Bigica’s side had just three minutes to wait before their lead was doubled, with Federico Simonti firing home from close range after the Azzurri defence had failed to clear their lines from a corner.

There was a late scare for the Viola after Antonio Cioffi curled home a stunning free-kick with three minutes to play before full-time, but Bigica’s men held on for a crucial win to move themselves onto 24 points for the season.

“I was a little worried to be honest,” said Bigica after the game. “Although the enforced break had given us a chance to recharge our batteries, I wasn’t sure how well the lads would be able to switch back on and get that match focus back. We asked them to approach this game like a final and show lots of humility, and I really think they delivered a fantastic performance in every regard.”

Bigica called for Fiorentina to be more clinical with their chances to avoid the kind of jitters caused by Cioffi’s late goal for Napoli.

“We were in complete control of the game but then we conceded a wondergoal,” he said. “It was a great free-kick from the Napoli player two minutes from the end. Unfortunately those are the things that can change a game sometimes. We scored two goals but given the chances we had we could have probably scored another – that’s something we can improve on.”

Goalscorer Alessandro Bianco was keen to stress the importance of the result, which allowed Fiorentina to extend their unbeaten run to three games despite the enforced break.

“It can be massive, particularly as we’d not played in two weeks after a positive period in which we’d got through to the final and beat Torino,” he said. “It wasn’t easy to plug back in and show that aggression on the pitch, but we did well. We fought for every ball because we can’t afford to slip up at this stage of the season. We have another two important games now against Verona and Genoa and we need to make sure we get maximum points to move ourselves away from the bottom of the table once and for all.”

Fiorentina 2-1 Napoli (HT: 2-0)
Scorers: Bianco 39, Simonti 42, Cioffi 87.

Fiorentina: Brancolini, Pierozzi E., Simonti, Dutu (Chiti 87), Dalle Mura, Beloko, Fiorini, Bianco (Kukovec 69), Duncan (Hanuljak 69), Pierozzi N. (Agostinelli 26), Spalluto.
Subs not used: Carcani, Ponsi, Marino, Fruk, Koffi, Milani.
Coach: Bigica.

Napoli: Idasiak, Zanoli, Zanon, Ceparano (Bozhanaj 70), Manzi, D'Onofrio, Marrazzo (Mamas HT), Sami, Vianni, Labriola (D'Amato 55), Sgarbi (Cioffi 55).
Subs not used: Daniele, Tsoungui, Esposito, Virgilio, Cavallo.
Coach: Angelini.

Referee: Pashuku.
Yellow cards: Marrazzo 39, Sami 48, Dutu 54.

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