Fiorentina bounce back, Sevilla slip up
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Sevilla FC were the sole losers among the final four this weekend, with ACF Fiorentina, SSC Napoli and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk all hitting three goals apiece in wins.
Article top media content
There was much to cheer about for the UEFA Europa League semi-finalists this weekend as three of the final quartet helped themselves to a trio of goals in victories. That included a long-awaited Serie A win for ACF Fiorentina, with Sevilla FC the only team to slip up as their impressive unbeaten run at home came to an end.
• ACF Fiorentina 3-1 AC Cesena
Vincenzo Montella's side ended their four-game losing streak in Serie A with the timely morale boost of a win against Cesena, which left their struggling visitors on the verge of relegation. Josip Iličić struck twice for the Viola, his first from the penalty spot, before Alberto Gilardino increased the deficit in the second half, Alejandro Rodriguez weighing in with a consolation shortly afterwards.
The win lifted Fiorentina ahead of UC Sampdoria and Genoa CFC into fifth, with minds now focused on taking on the UEFA Europa League holders. "We really wanted this success to get us in the best head space for the semi-final," said Montella.
• Sevilla FC2-3 Real Madrid CF
Cristiano Ronaldo took his personal tally to 42 for the current Liga season as Sevilla lost a Liga game at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium for the first time since they were beaten 4-1 by FC Barcelona on 9 February 2014.
Carlos Bacca found the target from the penalty spot, and Vicente Iborra struck after Ronaldo had completed his hat-trick to give Unai Emery's side hope of salvaging a point.
First leg: Sevilla v Fiorentina, 7 May. Second leg: Fiorentina v Sevilla, 14 May.
• FC Chornomorets Odesa 0-3 FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipro moved up to second spot in the Ukrainian Premier League courtesy of a comfortable victory, Nikola Kalinić grabbing the headlines after plundering a pair of goals. The Croatia forward opened the scoring on 32 minutes and buried his second from the penalty spot close to half-time, thus taking his tally to 12 strikes from 21 league outings this term.
It was then left to Yevhen Seleznyov to make sure of the outcome with 14 minutes remaining, as Myron Markevych's charges jumped two points ahead of FC Shakhtar Donetsk, who visit FC Volyn Lutsk on Monday. Dnipro also lie just three points behind leaders FC Dynamo Kyiv, who also have a game in hand.
• SSC Napoli 3-0 AC Milan
Rafael Benítez's men raised their hopes of a top-three finish after making the most of a first-minute dismissal for Milan's Mattia De Sciglio, who saw red after bringing down Marek Hamšík in the area. Gonzalo Higuaín was unable to beat Diego López from the spot, but Napoli stuck at their task and swung the game with a three-goal salvo in the space of six second-half minutes.
Hamšík broke the deadlock after pouncing on a headed clearance with 20 minutes remaining, and Higuaín made up for his earlier miss shortly after, before Manolo Gabbiadini turned in the rebound after López had saved from Higuaín. The Partenopei thus clambered within four points of third-placed SS Lazio, who were held 1-1 by Atalanta BC.
First leg: Napoli v Dnipro, 7 May. Second leg: Dnipro v Napoli, 14 May.