Fiorentina devastated by European exit

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The Independent Online

Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli was hugely disappointed with his team's elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich last night.

Despite the Italians winning 3-2 in Florence, Bayern progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition on away goals with a 4-4 aggregate result.

The Viola had gone into the encounter hoping to reach the last eight of the competition for the first time since 1970.

"I feel great bitterness," said Prandelli. "But I am proud to have guided the team to play this match.

"My players should not feel frustrated.

"They are working to become important players and these type of games show that they can compete against anyone.

"My players did well against Bayern and it4s a pity that Miroslav Klose's goal in the first-leg turned out to be important."

Klose had given Bayern a controversial 2-1 win over 10-man Fiorentina at the Allianz Arena despite being clearly offside when nodding the late winner.

Prandelli nevertheless believes his side leave Europe's elite club competition with their heads held high.

The Viola had registered five wins, including defeats of Lyon and Liverpool, on the way to finishing top of Group E before their meeting with Bayern.

"We can only be proud of what we have done this season," said Prandelli. "We leave the tournament having won six of eight games."

The Viola will now turn their attention to the domestic front.

Prandelli hopes his team will bounce back immediately, starting in Saturday4s game at Napoli.

"The campaign is not over," said Prandelli.

"We can end the season in the best possible way.

"We must recover positions in the Serie A standings and play good football.

"I am certain the team will come out stronger from this elimination."

Prandelli's side lie 11th in Serie A having won just one of their last nine league games.

They trail 11 points behind fourth-place Palermo, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

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