Fiorentina tore apart their Italian rivals Roma to reach the Europa League quarter-finals with a 3-0 win that left their opponentsa season in tatters and their under-fire coach Rudi Garc a on the brink of the sack. The home side were 3-0 down before the match had settled into any sort of rhythm as Gonzalo Rodr guez, Marcos Alonso and Jos Mar a Basanta all found the net in a breathless opening 22 minutes on their way to a 4-1 aggregate victory. The win made it a night to remember for the Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella against a club where he spent 10 years as a player and also had a spell as caretaker manager. But it was a miserable occasion for Garc a. The Roma coach said this week he would step aside the moment he felt he was becoming a burden to his team. The matter, however, may now be out of his hands given his sidea s record of one win in the last nine games. Romaa s Serie A title challenge has evaporated, and their last realistic hope of a trophy has now been ended by Fiorentina.
Mohamed Salah came close in the 3rd minute when the on-loan Chelsea winger fired from range, but his shot went millimeters over the bar. However in the 6th minute, Fiorentina were awarded a penalty when Holebas went in for a reckless challenge on Fernandez inside the penalty box and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Rodriguez stepped up and sent ‘keeper Skorupski the wrong way, however the referee ordered a re-take, when Basanta ran into the box, blocking the refereea s view of the spot-kick. Rodriguez stepped up for the retake, and sent the Polish goalkeeper the wrong way again, whipping the ball into the bottom left corner, to give Fiorentina the lead. Torosidis came close to levelling the score in the 16th minute when a brilliant Miralem Pjanic corner found him unmarked in the box, but his powerful header flew past the post, to keep the score at 1-0. Things got from bad to worse for Roma when a terrible mistake from Skorupski gifted the ball to Alonso inside the penalty box. The left-back was given a golden chance to double the Viola’s lead, and he took it as he dribbled the ball into an open net, to make it 2-0 to Fiorentina in the 18th minute. Basanta then joined in on the fun as the centre-back incredibly made it 3-0 to Fiorentina in the 21st minute, the defender was completely unmarked inside the penalty box for a Fiorentina corner, and Basanta headed the ball past a motionless Skorupski. Adam Ljajic almost salvaged something for the hosts, but his close range effort was saved by a decent stop from Neto. Roma came close again in the 37th minute when Pjanica s header was goalbound, but Borja Valero was on queue to make a great goal line clearance with his head.
Salah then almost made it four to the visitors, when the Egyptian winger ran through the entire Roma midfield and defence, he only had to beat the goalkeeper, but his effort whacked off the crossbar, ensuring the scoreline stayed at 3-0. Babacar was unlucky not to finish his goal-scoring opportunity; Salah fed him through with a teasing ball but his shot was poor as Skorupski tipped the ball around the post for a corner-kick ten minutes into the second-half. Salah again hit the woodwork when the wingera s effort from 18 yards out smashed off the post in the 77th minute. To top off a terrible night for Roma, former Fiorentina forward Ljajic, received his second yellow card of the night in the 88th minute for a challenge on Alberto Aquilani that saw the Serbian international head down the tunnel for an early bath.
Roma players were subjected to a furious protest during and after the match. Ultras in the Curva Sud walked out after half an hour, leaving a banner in the empty section that read: a Rome is fed up… see you soon.a They did indeed return 10 minutes from the end to stage their protest, hurling abuse at the players and club hierarchy, but largely sparing Coach Rudi Garcia. Among the chants were a Go do some real worka and a We only support the shirt.a After the final whistle, several players including Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Juan Manuel Iturbe went to the Curva in order to speak to the head ultras. Ita s reported the fans demanded players remove their shirts, as they were not worthy to wear them. During the game, Radja Nainggolan a who was suspended a had to leave his seat in the stands after receiving insults from the supporters around him. It has been a tough few weeks for the Giallorossi, who crashed out of the Champions League, the Coppa Italia a also to Fiorentina a the Europa League and saw their Serie A lead in second place cut to just one point.