Serie A

Matias Fernandez rescues Fiorentina

Fernandez Ariel Matias
Matias Fernandez celebrates after his sensational free kick.
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Matias Fernandez's stunning free kick saw Champions League-chasing Fiorentina snatch a 2-2 draw at Parma in a thrilling Serie A match which also featured three red cards on Monday.

''We could have managed the game better, especially in the first half,'' Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella said. ''We played well against a difficult opponent even when we were a man down but the two sendings off are a pity.

''We had a great first half, but we weren't clinical. We conceded in our best period and then we got nervous, but we managed to rescue the match with our tenacity and strength.''

Antonio Cassano fired Parma in front six minutes from halftime after Amauri's pull-back was deflected into his path.

Fiorentina drew level two minutes later when Juan Cuadrado slid in at the back post, slotting home Alessandro Matri's cross.

Former Fiorentina forward Amauri restored Parma's lead six minutes after the break with a penalty after Nenad Tomovic fouled Jonathan Biabiany.

Fiorentina's hopes of getting something from the match appeared to evaporate when Modibo Diakite was sent off for a second booking two minutes later.

However, Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto kept his side in the game with fine saves, including a fantastic double stop to deny first Marco Cassani and then Amauri from point-blank range.

And substitute Fernandez struck a stunning 30-meter free kick into the top far corner five minutes from time.

Gianni Munari and Borja Valero were sent off following a stoppage-time brawl.

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Fiorentina lost no ground in the race for a Champions League spot after Napoli was also held in the late match.

After extending its club record run of unbeaten matches to 13, Parma was seventh, three points behind fifth-place Inter Milan in the race for a Europa League spot.

''I'm disappointed to draw because we were justified in expecting all three points,'' Parma coach Roberto Donandoni said. ''But you have to give credit to the quality of your opponents, like Matia Fernandez's goal which was an extraordinary free kick.

''We made a bit too many mistakes at the beginning, but then the lads did well against a great team.''

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