Vincenzo Montella admits Fiorentina-Juventus was a special victory and he “considered replacing” hat-trick hero Giuseppe Rossi.
“It is certainly among my most enjoyable victories. In the first half it was balanced and Juve made the most of our errors, especially on the second goal,” he told Sky Sport Italia after a 4-2 win.
“Juventus didn’t allow us spaces through the middle after the break and stopped us raising the tempo. We looked unable to score, but football is marvellous and the penalty changed the inertia of the game.
“We achieved this despite going 2-0 down, despite losing Massimo Ambrosini, despite Rossi having a back problem.
“It’s tough to score four goals against Juventus, especially with Antonio Conte in charge, and extraordinarily wonderful to do it in 15 minutes.
“I thank the fans, who behaved impeccably and perhaps at times believed in this result more than we did. I am glad to note there was no crowd trouble either, despite the concerns and rivalry.”
Rossi was the hero with a hat-trick, but Montella confesses it wasn’t a good start for Pepito.
“Rossi didn’t have a great game in the first half, but in football quality makes the difference. I considered replacing him, but he’s a player who can change a game even when he’s not well.
“He works for the team and is not egotistical. He scored extraordinary goals and gave us the strength to win this match.”
This is Fiorentina’s first home win over Juventus for 15 years, since Gabriel Batistuta sealed a 1-0 result in 1998.
“Pressure is part of football. If we had lost today, some would’ve said our season was over, whereas with a win suddenly we’re considered title contenders. We need to keep a balanced and objective view, then wait and see in the long run what the table tells us.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.