Buffon praises 'world-class' Gomez after Europa League draw

The Juventus goalkeeper conceded that Fiorentina caused his side problems in the 1-1 draw in Turin on Thursday, and praised the German forward for his reliable goalscoring talents
Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that Fiorentina's individual quality - particularly that of Mario Gomez - made life difficult for Juventus in Thursday's Europa League last-16 clash as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw in Turin.

Arturo Vidal gave the Serie A champions an early lead, but Gomez salvaged a late draw for Vincenzo Montella's men - and Buffon was quick to heap praise upon the Germany international.

"We were up against a team featuring important individuals who can hurt you with just one move," the goalkeeper told reporters.

"Gomez did well. He's a world-class player, not someone who's just burst onto the scene."

The Bianconeri beat Fiorentina 1-0 at the weekend in Serie A and Buffon was hopeful they could get a similar result, but conceded they were unable to play their own game.

"We wanted to handle the game in the same way we did on Sunday, unfortunately it didn't go our way tonight."

Gomez, meanwhile, has promised Viola fans he will score plenty more goals this season after netting his first goal following a lengthy injury lay-off.

"Today's goal was an emotional one. I am very happy with it," the former Bayern Munich man told Mediaset Premium.

"I know how important my goals are for this club and for this city. It is not easy to get back after five to six months out of action.

"I feel that my fitness and my power are improving and I will score just like before once I'm in peak condition again.

"I am pleased for the team, because it was not an easy game in Turin. Juventus are strong opponents. We want to reach the next round. We never gave up and will continue to do our utmost in the return."

The second leg takes place at the Artemio Franchi on March 20.