Friday, 2 May 2008

Viola slam Rangers negativity

Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli and President Andrea Della Valle accused Glasgow Rangers of reaching the UEFA Cup final by using deliberately negative tactics.

The Serie A side dominated the second leg of the semi-final in Florence and repeatedly pounded the Rangers defence, who kept a clean sheet thanks to some brave play and plenty of luck as Fiorentina wasted chance after chance.

Rangers then secured victory in a penalty shootout after the match and tie finished goalless, with Nacho Novo scoring the decisive spot-kick following misses by Fabio Liverani and Christian Vieri.

"This great adventure is over and we have to accept the result even if we surely deserved more," Prandelli said.

"We gave everything we had trying to score until the last minute of extra-time.

"Football is like this and today a team who focus on defending from the first to the last minute were rewarded.

"I'm sure we deserved to reach the final. Rangers came here just to stop us playing our best football and got the result they wanted.

"I have nothing to say to my players. The game would have been more entertaining if we were facing a team ready to play a bit more."

Della Valle was just as critical of Walter Smith's side, saying: "Rangers played the whole match with the objective of going to penalties, and they succeeded."

Midfielder Liverani believes the Viola were destined to miss out on the May 14 final in Manchester, where Rangers will face Zenit St Petersburg.

"It's been a cursed tie," said Liverani. "Throughout the match I believed that sooner or later the goal would come, but we didn't succeed. I'm personally disappointed to have missed the penalty. The crowd have been great though, I must thank them."

Rangers boss Walter Smith said reaching the UEFA Cup final is one of his proudest moments in football.

"It is a fantastic result we have achieved tonight," Smith said. "I'm delighted for everyone, for the chairman (Sir David Murray), for the players and for the fans.

"We were aware that we would be under a fair amount of pressure as Fiorentina put a lot of pressure on their opponents when playing at home."

Smith was relieved his team were not made to pay for Barry Ferguson's opening spot-kick, which was saved by Sebastien Frey. "I feared the worst," he said. "But I'm proud of all the boys that stepped up because it takes a lot of courage."

Source: Sporting Life

No comments:

Post a Comment