Let us first remind ourselves at the outset that if it was not for Miroslav Klose’s ridiculously offside goal in the first leg, Bayern would not have progressed to the quarterfinals.
This was a game played with great intensity with some brilliant moments. It will be one of the more well remembered matches and for Viola fans, it will be one of pride as well as heartbreak.
At the Stadio Artemio Franchi, it was Fiorentina that looked the more attractive attacking team. Juan Vargas gave them the lead with a tightly angled shot after Butt spilled Marco Marchionni’s rasping shot straight to the Peruvian. It was 1-0 and things were looking good for the Violas on a 2-2 aggregate and an away goal advantage.
In the second half Gilardino’s exquisitely timed back heel found Stefan Jovetic whose smart finish gave Fiorentina a 2-0 lead as the Viola fans erupted in raucous celebration. They could taste the quarterfinals. Surely nothing could take it away now.
But Franck Ribery on the left who had a swarm of Fiorentina players descend down on him every time he touched the ball managed to wriggle free and pass it square all the way to the middle of the pitch. It arrived at the feet of an arriving Mark Von Bommel who lashed a nicely placed grounder to the right of Sebastian Frey. Parity was restored.
It was Jovetic, a livewire in attack who again gave Fiorentina the aggregate advantage. After a Gilardino header found him, he took off for goal managing to shoulder aside the heavier Daniel Van Buyten and place the ball past Butt.
But even before the fans had time to catch a breath, Robben who so far had been contained with great difficulty broke free moving inside and whipped in a 30 yard screamer with his left foot that seems to have caught a thermal on its way to goal. It capped a frenetic exchange of goals as Fiorentina redoubled their efforts to find another goal to no avail.
In the end it is Bayern going through and Fiorentina left behind undone by a travesty.
Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli:
(Reflecting on Miroslav Klose’s goal from the first leg) “We gave up a goal that shouldn’t have counted for anything, and instead we’re here talking about getting eliminated by a goal that was two metres offside.”