It turns out Tottenham Hotspur are going to have quite a bit of work to do in Florence. They started very strong against Fiorentina, but things went downhill from the 36th minute on, and Spurs could only squeak out a 1-1 draw.
Roberto Soldado fired Spurs ahead in the 6th minute, and deservedly so. A great team move led to a Nacer Chadli shot that was saved, and eventually, a corner. Paulinho found Soldado with the set piece and Bobby showed great technique, hitting a gorgeous volley past Ciprian Tătăruşanu.
Tottenham were the much better side through the half-hour mark, pressing Fiorentina into oblivion and preventing them from ripping off counter attacks. But they couldn't find a second goal, which they would eventually come to seriously regret. The Viola got on the board in the 36th minute, and in fairly lucky fashion. A Mati Fernandez free kick was saved by Hugo Lloris, but the rebound hit off Stefan Savic's bum and fell to Jose Maria Basanta, who scored.
Nacer Chadli appeared to put Spurs back on top just before the break, and was unlucky not to score. Tătăruşanu saved his initial header, then Chadli's rebound attempt hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced on the line, but didn't go over.
Fiorentina switched from a back three to a four at halftime, moving Savic to right back and wingback Joaquin into midfield. It worked perfectly, with Spurs having fewer opportunities to attack down the wings after the switch. The second half was much more even, and Spurs never looked much like scoring.
Harry Kane and Erik Lamela were brought off the bench in an attempt to spark some life into the Spurs attack, but to no avail.
- Fiorentina's tactical switch totally nullified Andros Townsend. He was brilliant in the first half and poor in the second half.
- Paulinho looked competent in the center of midfield! He even held while Nabil Bentaleb got forward sometimes! It was cool.
- Bentaleb, by the way, was probably Spurs' best player.
- Ben Davies is a lot better than Danny Rose.
- We probably deserved to go into halftime up 2-0. Unlucky.