Fiorentina close on Euro place
Last Updated: 26/04/14 7:46pm
Josip Ilicic and Fiorentina celebrate his goal
Fiorentina moved to within a point of securing their place in Europe next season after beating relegation-threatened Bologna 3-0 on Saturday evening
First-half goals from Juan Cuadrado and Josip Ilicic put the Viola on their way to a win which should be enough to clinch them a place in the Europa League next season with three games remaining.
Cuadrado's second late on sealed the convincing victory, leaving Bologna potentially three points adrift of safety this weekend as their relegation plight worsened at the Stadio Dall'Ara, despite a valiant effort to recover in the second half.
Bologna actually had the first big chance of the game when Rene Krhin's header was kept out only by a fine one-handed save from Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto.
That appeared to give hope to the Emilia-Romagna side and Lazaros Kone flashed a shot just wide of the post.
Robert Acquafresca then managed to take the ball past Neto, but the angle was tight and he lifted his shot over the crossbar.
Fiorentina found their feet and took the lead in the 23rd minute. They made it look so simple with a cross from Ilicic met by Cuadrado seven yards out and, with three Bologna defenders stood watching, he guided his first-time shot into the far corner.
Fiorentina doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Borja Valero dummied the ball which found Ilicic, who curled in his shot from 20 yards into the top right-hand corner.
Ilicic and Borja Valero both had shots blocked as Fiorentina looked to wrap up victory inside the first half.
There was no need for that, although Bologna did put up a spirited fight in the second half with Kone leading their battle.
His determined run and shot deflected up into the arms of Neto with nothing going right for Davide Ballardini's men.
Fiorentina simply soaked up the pressure before striking in the 87th minute when Cuadrado put his head down, took a few strides towards the penalty area and then unleashed a rocket past Gianluca Curci from 25 yards, earning applause also from a large proportion of the home fans, who seem increasingly resigned to their team's relegation this season.
Italian Serie A
Fiorentina moved to within a point of securing their place in Europe next season after Bologna 3-0.