It was a dubiously sad day today, as the two "viola" teams played out what should have been a world class (or at least something among those lines) friendly. Yet, only few people left the stadium in anything more than a state of contention.
The mere 10,000 spectators who took up an interest in watching the match live seemed subdued by the extremely hot weather. The match - in which Fiorentina used several non-first team players - started badly for Poli, as their opponents scored at their first chance through Gobbi, thanks to a good cross and errors by Canu and Dancia. One might have believed that the match would take off after the early goal, but it did not. Poli seemed to control the hostilities, but without converting the possession into scoring opportunities. Fiorentina just laid low.
The second half was a bit more energic to begin with, as our opponents put pressure on Poli's defense. This dominant spell climaxed with a fine finish from Mutu, parried by Marius Popa. Although run down by the heat, Poli tried to keep the game away from Popa's goal and even score a goal of their own. After some tedious, rather Italian, football, it was substitute Plesan who found himself at the receiving end of a Vrsic free kick and converted with ease. Not much happened until the final whistle, when a more or less bland fireworks show rounded up a more or less un-festive evening.
Obviously, there's a lot of work to be done and I sincerely doubt the current squad is up to fulfill this season's UEFA Cup objective. Unless the problems in defense are somehow solved or patched, the road ahead seems very rough.