Valero salutes 'fantastic' Fiorentina

The 29-year-old insisted his side will set out to win the second-leg in Florence and praised Mario Gomez for netting his first goal since his return from injury

Fiorentina midfielder Borja Valero hailed the "fantastic" resiliency his side showed to secure a 1-1 draw against Juventus in the Europa League.

Arturo Vidal put Juventus ahead after just three minutes on Thursday in the first-leg of the last-16 tie, and it looked as though the Italian champions would repeat Sunday's 1-0 victory over Vincenzo Montella's men in Serie A.

However, Mario Gomez snatched a precious away goal for the visitors on 79 minutes with his first strike since returning from a long-term knee injury in February.

Midfielder Valero was thrilled to take a draw, but says Fiorentina will fight to win next Thursday's return clash.

"Considering the way the game went with that early goal, I'd say we were fantastic," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"We played our game with the ball and in the end got that goal that will be fundamental in the second-leg.

"We weren't set out well defensively at the start and Juve came out fighting, but after the goal we had the courage to take control of the ball in a stadium that is very difficult to play in.

"The draw won't change anything, as we always play the same way and will try to win in the second-leg."

Gomez's strike was his first since September 1, and Valero believes the goal will provide the Germany international with a huge lift.

He added: "The goal above all is important for Mario, as he has been out for such a long time and will gain confidence from it."