Fiorentina bounces back from Europa League ouster with Parma rout
ROME (AP) — Fiorentina beat already relegated Parma 3-0 in Serie A on Monday to calm tensions with its fans after an ugly exit from the Europa League.
Gonzalo Rodriguez headed in a rebound 13 minutes in at Fiorentina's Franchi stadium and Alberto Gilardino doubled the lead in the 30th with a header from a corner.
Mohamed Salah sealed it in the 56th. After receiving the ball at the edge of the area, the striker on loan from Chelsea used one touch to evade a defender then shot into the far corner.
Also, Fiorentina forward Alessandro Diamanti hit the crossbar in the 88th.
Sevilla completed a 5-0 aggregate victory over Fiorentina in the Europa League semifinals last week, prompting fierce criticism of the Viola.
However, the win over Parma—Fiorentina's third straight in the league—moved the Viola back into fifth place and a likely spot in next season's Europa League. Two rounds remain.
Also, Dries Mertens scored twice as Napoli tightened its hold on fourth with a 3-2 win at home over Cesena, which has also been mathematically relegated.
Napoli, which was also eliminated in the Europa League semifinals, moved within three points of third-place Lazio, and four behind second-place Roma.
Gregoire Defrel put Cesena ahead 15 minutes in at the San Paolo stadium, Mertens equalized four minutes later and Manolo Gabbiadini gave Napoli the lead in the 21st in a frenetic six-minute stretch.
Defrel equalized in first-half added time, left alone to redirect a cross from the center of the area.
Mertens scored the winner in the 57th after exchanging passes with Napoli captain Marek Hamsik inside the area. It was the sixth goal this season for the Belgium international.