FLORENCE, ITALY (AP) – Juventus forward Dušan Vlahović was greeted with plenty of whistles and jeers on his return to Fiorentina early yesterday for the first time since his acrimonious departure last month.
But Vlahović departed with a victory as his new club Juventus won the first leg of their Italian Cup semifinal 1-0 following a stoppage-time own goal from Fiorentina defender Lorenzo Venuti after the home side had dominated and also hit the woodwork.
The 22-year-old Vlahović has scored three goals for Juventus – including two this past weekend – since leaving Fiorentina for its fierce rival in a EUR70 million (USD80 million) transfer.
Around 10,000 whistles were handed out to Fiorentina fans before the match and they were used profusely throughout the warmup and during the game, whenever Vlahović touched the ball.
Vlahović had the defending champion’s only sight of goal at the end of the first half and attempted a shot which was an easy catch for Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano.
He went closer in the 56th minute as he ran onto a long ball and shrugged off former teammate Igor before attempting to lob Terracciano, who stretched to beat it away with a one-handed save.
Fiorentina had numerous chances. Jonathan Ikoné sent an angled drive narrowly wide of the left post in the first half and went even closer shortly after the break as he curled an effort off the left upright.
Just as the game appeared headed for a scoreless draw, Juan Cuadrado’s cross ricocheted off Venuti’s chest and into the net at point-blank range.