ACF Fiorentina took the initiative in Group E by defeating FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in a Ukrainian snowstorm to break clear in the section.
Both victors on matchday one, it appeared the duo would stay locked together at the top of the section after Gonzalo Rodríguez and Yevhen Seleznyov traded second-half penalties. However, Massimo Ambrosini timed his run perfectly to head in a 73rd-minute winner which took the Viola three points clear ahead of back-to-back games with CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu.
With sleet and snow blowing into the players' faces at kick-off, and standing water on the pitch, it was clear this game would not be littered with slick passing and flowing football. However, it was the hosts who adapted quicker to the climactic tumult and Viola goalkeeper Neto was the first victim, seeing a low cross slip out of his grasp and straight into the path of Yevhen Konoplyanka, only for Rodríguez's last-gasp intervention to save the visitors. A barnstorming run from Seleznyov then took the forward clear, but his low shot was denied by Neto.
Fiorentina offered very little before the break, yet their situation improved after the restart when Ruslan Rotan bundled over Ryder Matos in the area, allowing Rodríguez to score his second goal of the group stage. The lead lasted just four minutes as the referee pointed to the spot following David Pizarro's handball and Seleznyov made no mistake.
Only Denys Boyko's fingertips kept out Juan Cuadrado's spectacular effort from range, but Fiorentina were not to be denied as substitute Borja Valero picked out Ambrosini to bury the winner for Vincenzo Montella's men, who hung on for the success despite David Pizarro's late red card.
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