Fiorentina utterly dominated Bologna with splendid goals from Josip Ilicic, Borja Valero and Giuseppe Rossi.
The Viola qualified top of their Europa League group on Thursday by beating Dnipro 2-1, but domestically needed to shake off their defeat to Roma. Bologna arrived in penultimate place and missing the injured Diego Perez, Frederik Sorensen and Niccolo Cherubin. Massimo Ambrosini sat out a ban for the hosts, joining the sidelined Mario Gomez.
This was the 125th Serie A edition of the Derby dell’Appennino, so called because of the mountain range that separates the cities. Bologna hadn’t conquered the Stadio Franchi since a 2-1 result in 2009-10.
After just 36 seconds Jonathan Cristaldo had Neto at full stretch to fingertip away a low drive towards the far bottom corner.
Juan Cuadrado’s long-range strike was pushed round the base of the near post and moments later Fiorentina broke the deadlock.
Josip Ilicic has been hit by a lot of criticism since joining from Palermo over the summer, but he scored a fine goal. He gathered the ball in midfield, ran rings round two defenders and fired low into the far bottom corner past Gianluca Curci rooted to the spot. It was the Slovenian’s first goal since April.
Cuadrado almost made it 2-0 with a classic counter, but Curci just about managed to deflect it wide for a corner with his ankle.
Curci needed to use his foot again moments later to deny Giuseppe Rossi, but Borja Valero scored a magnificent goal.
He allowed the pass from Rossi down the left to run under his left foot and trapped it with his right, leaving him in the ideal position to fire low into the far bottom corner.
It was all Viola in Florence and Cesare Natali charged down a Rossi effort while Borja Valero curled off target.
Bologna’s performance was awful and Coach Stefano Pioli made two substitutions at half-time, introducing Rolando Bianchi and Andrea Mantovani.
Giuseppe Rossi added his name to the scoresheet and another goal to his Capocannoniere tally in some style. He trapped a Borja Valero pass from the right, let it bounce and lobbed the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Panagiotis Kone and Alessandro Diamanti tried from distance, giving Neto something rare to do in this game that was utterly dominated by the Viola.