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Alberto Gilardino feels Fiorentina gave their best and worst in Lisbon last night. “It was an insane second half, but we never give in.”

Juan Manuel Vargas had put them in front in the Champions League play-off, but even after going down to 10 men, Sporting had managed to turn it around. Gilardino snatched a 2-2 result late on.

“We saw a bit of everything,” sighed the striker on Sky Italia television. “It was a balanced first half with few real risks and we were in front.

“It was an insane second half, as we conceded a goal and then pulled back so much that we were under a lot of pressure.

“Yet once again we saw the spirit of this side, we never give in, and I must praise all my teammates for the grit and determination they showed.”

Gilardino went close to the Serie A Capocannoniere title in his debut season for Fiorentina and is taking a commanding role again this term.

“I will try. I think the team is the most important thing and we have a squad with both experienced and young players. It’s a great mix and we can do very well.

“We hope that this start, this 2-2 in Lisbon, can bode well for the future.”

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