ACF Fiorentina surged to the top of UEFA Europa League Group E with a convincing 3-0 win against FC Paços de Ferreira on a balmy night in Tuscany.
Gonzalo Rodríguez gave Vincenzo Montella's side the lead after 30 minutes before second-half strikes from debutant Ryder Matos and the more experienced Giuseppe Rossi asserted the Viola's superiority over a side who have lost all their competitive fixtures this season.
Spending most of the time on the attack, the hosts went close to opening the scoring when Marcos Alonso's shot from the edge of the area took a wicked deflection, almost looping over goalkeeper Matias Degra, who just managed to turn the ball behind for a corner.
The danger was not averted there, however, as Rossi's corner was met at the near post by Rodríguez, whose headed flick was enough to guide the ball in. The first threat to the Fiorentina goal came with little over five minutes of the first half remaining when Christian Irobiso turned and missed the target from just outside the area.
A similar turn from Irobiso inside the area – with the same outcome – hinted at a Paços revival, but the visitors capitulated when Matos' first touch in a Viola shirt proved decisive. The substitute, introduced barely a minute earlier, wasted no time opening his account, turning Borja Valero's shot in off the far post.
Provider of the first goal, Rossi got in on the act himself to make it three and banish any lingering doubts with a well-placed left-footed shot. His 17th UEFA Europa League goal, it gave the 2007/08 semi-finalists a solid start to their 2013/14 campaign.
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