Fiorentina’s Europa League march continued with a 3-0 victory in Belarus over Dinamo Minsk.
Elsewhere in Group K, Guingamp got a surprise 2-0 win over PAOK, so the Italians are already three points clear at the top with a perfect record.
The Viola’s injury crisis got even worse with Juan Cuadrado, Giuseppe Rossi, Mario Gomez, Joaquin, Marko Marin, Stefan Savic and Gonzalo Rodriguez sidelined. Borja Valero was used as a False 9 with support from Josip Ilicic and 20-year-old Federico Bernardeschi. Dinamo Minsk lost their opener 6-1 to PAOK, but also missed Chigozie Udoji, Artem Bykov and Nikita Korzun due to injury, while midfielder Slobodan Simovic was suspended.
There were saves on Bernardeschi and Alberto Aquilani in the opening five minutes, then a Josip Ilicic screamer forced a one-handed save from Sergei Ignatovich.
Ciprian Tatarusanu was also tested by Nenad Adamovic from distance, but Fiorentina made the pressure count and went in front. Ignatovich flapped at a Manuel Pasqual cross and Aquilani was ready with a fierce right-foot finish.
Ilicic had another attempt deflected just wide, but there was a new addition to the injury list when Micah Richards went off.
Dinamo Minsk started to pour forward towards half-time and had two great scoring opportunities, but Adama Diomande’s header whistled just wide and Tatarusanu was at full stretch to stop Igor Voronkov nodding in an equaliser.
Hernan Figueredo turned off target, but Fiorentina doubled their tally on the hour mark thanks to Ilicic. It was a well-worked move and Bernardeschi just failed to get the final touch to Andrea Lazzari’s pass, but the ball carried on through to Ilicic at the back post.
Bernardeschi did get his goal soon after, his second in two Europa League games, as Ilicic laid off Lazzari’s smart through ball for the 20-year-old’s angled drive.
Lazzari almost got one of his own too, his header from a Pasqual cross testing Ignatovich, while Tatarusanu parried a powerful Nikolic strike in stoppages.
Dinamo Minsk 0-3 Fiorentina
Scorers: Aquilani 33 (F), Ilicic 61 (F), Bernardeschi 67 (F)
Dinamo Minsk: Ignatovich; Veretilo, Kontsevoi, Bangura, Molosh; Nikolic, Voronkov; Adamovic (Rassadkin 86), Figueredo (Dja Djedje 62), Stasevich (Yarotski 88); Diomande
Fiorentina: Tatarusanu; Richards (Alonso 41), Tomovic, Basanta, Pasqual; Aquilani (Pizarro 46), Badelj, Vargas; Ilicic, Borja Valero (Lazzari 60), Bernardeschi
Ref: Gil (POL)