Tottenham get crucial history-making away goal in Florence to draw
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | February 18, 2016
Fiorentina 1-1 Tottenham
- Chadli broke deadlock from the spot after Tomovic downed Davies
- It was the first goal by an English club in Florence in five attempts
- Bernardeschi equalised after huge deflection off Mason
- Spurs and Viola to play out second leg on February 25th
Duo draw in tranquil Tuscany
Fiorentina and Tottenham tussled in the Europa League last 32 first leg, in what was a rematch of their clash at this stage of this competition last year.
The Serie A side ended up 3-1 victors on aggregate, on their way to reaching the semis, and won 2-0 here at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
North Londoners Spurs were able to find a goal on this occasion, incidentally the first English team to ever score in Florence in five matches, on their way to take away a respectable 1-1 draw from a half-empty stadium.
Clash comes to life eventually
Both clubs were still getting used to the occasion in Europe for the first stages of the game in Tuscany’s capital, and it took until the 25th minute to see first shot on goal.
Spurs star Christian Eriksen tested keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu from long-range, but the Romanian was equal to the effort and palm over.
As it all started to heat up, Dele Alli was booked after half-an-hour, but the young talent was perhaps lucky not to be sent off after kicking right back Nenad Tomovic in the stomach when he was on the ground.
But moments later, the hosts should’ve been 1-0 up, as former West Ham United striker Mauro Zarate somehow failed to connect from Josip Ilicic’s fantastic delivery into the six yard box.
Chadli cooly converts from the spot
It was Tomovic who helped Spurs become the first English club to score here, as he clipped left back Ben Davies in the area which resulted in a penalty. With Harry Kane on the bench it meant that Nacer Chadli was on hand to roll it into the bottom left corner to send the keeper the wrong way.
Son Heung-Min had the ball in the net soon after the break, but was rightly adjudged offside after nodding in from a free-kick.
Chadli and Son continued the visitors’ promising start to the second-half by shooting just wide of the post, meanwhile.
Fiorentina grab goal against run of play
But Viola drew level on the hour mark, after Italy Under-21 international Federico Bernardeschi’s long-range effort wickedly deflected off stand-in Spurs skipper Ryan Mason to loop over Michel Vorm into the top corner.
Substitutes Matias Vecino of Viola and Tottenham’s Harry Kane traded efforts at the keepers with under 15 minutes to go, but neither side really showed any other signs of wanting to win the game at this stage.
Zarate and captain Gonzalo Javier Rodriguez had chances near the end to give their side the lead, but Spurs will go away the happier club with an away goal, though could’ve arguably scored a couple more with the amount of possession and chances they had.
The two teams will now face off once more for a place in the last 16, on February 25th at White Hart Lane, four days after Spurs also host Crystal Palace in the Premier League.