Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze, Italy
61′ Belotti Penalty missed
Fiorentina surrendered a 2-0 lead for the second consecutive match as Torino came from behind to draw 2-2 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Firenze.
It looked as though the Violas had responded well to their disappointing UEFA Europa League Round of 32 exit at the hands of Borussia Mönchengladbach, where they spurned a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 on the night, when first-half goals from Riccardo Saponara and Nikola Kalinić gave the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead. However despite missing a penalty, Andrea Belotti scored twice to level the scores five minutes from time and pile the pressure on under-fire Fiorentina manager Paulo Sousa.
After quite an evenly contested first seven minutes, the hosts took the lead when Federico Chiesa found Borja Valero, whose powerful effort was palmed away by Joe Hart into the path of Saponara, who fired home the loose ball in the eighth minute.
Seven minutes later the hosts should have made it two when an error from Arlind Ajeti sent Kalinić through on-goal, the striker had just Hart to beat but the keeper came to Torino’s rescue and brilliantly palmed the effort just wide.
In the 22nd minute the visitors had a good chance to level the scores when Lucas Boyé surged forward, he had the option to shoot but instead pulled the ball back to Marco Benassi but his effort was blocked by Cristian Tello, who denied a certain goal.
Two minutes later the hosts should have doubled their lead when a Torino corner was cleared into the path of Chiesa, the winger surged forward to lead a Fiorentina counter-attack and found Tello, but he could only fire the ball just wide of the far-post.
In the 32nd minute the hosts had another good chance to double their lead when Tello was played through on-goal by Chiesa after an error by Davide Zappacosta, the winger had Hart to beat, but again the keeper palmed the effort away, with the loose ball eventually fired just over the bar by Kalinić from a tight-angle.
A minute later Saponara went close to his second of the match when he fired an effort just wide of the post from-range on the volley.
Six minutes later the hosts doubled their lead after Valero’s corner was met by Kalinić, who headed home emphatically past Hart. The goal was the eleventh goal that Torino conceded from a corner this season.
Five minutes into the restart the hosts went close to a third when Chiesa’s pull-back found Saponara, who fired an effort inches wide of the far-post.
Ten minutes later the visitors were given a great opportunity to pull a goal back from the penalty-spot after Boyé was caught by a rash challenge from Carlos Salcedo. However Belotti couldn’t take advantage, firing the spot-kick over the bar via the crossbar.
The Torino striker made amends three minutes later, however, to reduce the deficit when a Torino corner was nodded into the path of Emiliano Moretti, who hooked the ball across the face of goal into the unmarked Belotti, who headed home.
In the 85th minute the comeback was complete when Belotti latched onto a fine cross from Daniele Baselli to volley home across Ciprian Tătărușanu.
Four minutes later Fiorentina went close to taking the lead when a dangerous delivery from substitute Maximiliano Olivera curled inches wide of the target with Hart beaten.
In the first of four additional minutes the visitors went went close to snatching a winner when former Fiorentina midfielder Adem Ljajić cut-inside to curl an effort that Tătărușanu was forced to palm away.
The result meant that Fiorentina remained in eighth on 41 points, five points ahead of Torino in ninth on 36 points.