Juan Guillermo Cuadrado scored two and set up a third as Fiorentina crushed Bologna 3-0 at the Dall’Ara.
This was the Derby dell’Appennino, as the cities are divided by the mountain range. The Rossoblu were in the relegation zone and desperate for points, but missing Diego Perez, Francesco Della Rocca and Jorge Crespo, while Robert Acquafresca was picked ahead of Rolando Bianchi. The Viola wanted to consolidate fourth place and prepare for next week’s Coppa Italia Final against Napoli. Giuseppe Rossi, Mario Gomez, Mati Fernandez and Ante Rebic were joined in the stands by suspended Alessandro Matri and Manuel Pasqual, so they adopted a strikerless system.
Fiorentina had a poor record at the Dall’Ara, managing just two points from the last four visits. It was Lazaros Christodoulopoulos who had the first shot on goal after 60 seconds, well gathered by Norberto Neto.
Nenad Tomovic risked a penalty with his clumsy control on a cross, using his shoulder and part of the arm. A free kick was floated in for Rene Krhin’s looping header, as Neto needed a one-handed save to keep it out of the near top corner.
It was all Bologna in the opening stages and Panagiotis Kone drilled across the face of goal, while Gonzalo Rodriguez did well to steer Acquafresca wide. Josip Ilicic finally threatened after 15 minutes with a volley that Gianluca Curci blocked on the line.
Borja Valero dribbled past two players only for his curling finish to be palmed round the far post, as Fiorentina were getting more into the game.
That pressure paid off on 22 minutes when Cuadrado snuck round the back of defenders to volley with the inside of the right foot across the face of goal from a Joaquin assist down the right flank. It was the Colombian’s third goal in as many games, his eighth of the season.
Ilicic doubled their advantage when he unleashed a snapshot from distance that took a deflection off Michele Pazienza to leave Curci wrong-footed. It was remarkably the Slovenian’s fifth goal against Bologna in just eight meetings.
It could’ve been 3-0 before the break, as Curci only parried an Ilicic effort into the path of Borja Valero, whose follow-up was charged down by Krhin.
The second half started with end-to-end football, as Cuadrado dribbled past everyone to pull back from the by-line with no teammates to turn in, then on the counter Neto blocked an Archimede Morleo blockbuster.
Curci used his legs to parry a Joaquin angled drive down the right flank after running rings around Mikael Antonsson. The goalkeeper kept the scoreline bearable with another desperate save one-on-one with Cuadrado, his gloves stung under the bar.
Tomovic thumped the side-netting, but Bologna were still fighting and Erik Friberg rolled across for Kone to tap in from a couple of yards only for Diakite to perform a crucial goalline clearance.
Acquafresca’s diving header whistled wide from six yards and Neto beat away a dangerous Gyorgy Garics cross.
Fiorentina still managed to add a third to their tally late on, as Cuadrado skipped past his marker to unleash a screamer from outside the box that flew past Curci. The Stadio Dall’Ara crowd couldn’t help but applaud the Colombian’s performance.
This was the Viola's ninth away victory of the season, a new club record in Serie A.