Fiorentina close in on Europe

Goals from Alberto Gilardino, Gonzalo Rodriguez and Mohamed Salah went some way to erasing the disappointment of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final defeat to Sevilla as La Viola moved a step closer to returning to the competition next season.

Just one win from their final two matches against Palermo and Chievo will see Vincenzo Montella’s men secure a top-six finish and a place in Europe next season.

Montella had criticised Fiorentina’s fans for their lack of support in the defeat to Sevilla on Thursday and he renewed the defence of his players prior to Monday night’s return to the Franchi.

His players responded to his backing with a bright opening which culminated in the opening goal after 13 minutes, Rodriguez heading them in front after Alessandro Lucarelli failed to clear Josip Ilicic’s cross.

Salah missed the target and Manuel Pasqual was denied well by Antonio Mirante as Fiorentina pushed for a second, although they had Neto to thank for not conceding an equaliser when Raffaele Palladino popped up in a dangerous position.

Gilardino gave Fiorentina a cushion after half-an-hour, heading in Mati Fernandez’s corner to effectively decide the game.

Parma did not have the belief that they could recover and after Fiorentina added a third 10 minutes into the second half through Salah the three points were in the bank.

Abdelkader Ghezzal was denied his first goal of the season as Neto made another fine save while Gilardino had a goal ruled out for offside, after Alessandro Diamanti hit the crossbar for the hosts.

There could have been further goals, but Montella got the response he wanted from his team,and three points more towards another shot at the Europa League next season.