Fiorentina were able to comfortably see off Scottish outfit Hearts at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Thursday evening, cruising to a straightforward 5-1 win in the Europa Conference League to provide brief respite for Vincenzo Italiano. La Viola are enduring a tougher-than-expected start to this Serie A season.
The three points were sealed early on by the Italians, holding a 4-0 lead at half-time and allowing for them to take their foot off the gas in the second half. Hearts put in a better showing of themselves after the break as well.
Jovic on target, Barak as well
The biggest positive on the night for Fiorentina was perhaps that Luka Jovic found the net. The forward hasn’t had a great start to life in Tuscany and La Viola will hope that he can take some confidence from and build on his goal against Hearts.
Cristiano Biraghi also scored, as did Antonin Barak. Nico Gonzalez scored a brace, with his second coming from the penalty spot late on after Hearts had pulled a goal back.
Stephen Humphrys got the visitors’ goal.
Why was the Fiorentina curva empty against Hearts?
Sharp-eyed fans watching Fiorentina’s Europa Conference League game against Hearts on Thursday would have noticed that the hosts’ Curva Fiesole was largely empty ahead of kick-off, and for the majority of the first half. With Serie A sides and Fiorentina particularly known for their supporters’ constant singing, it was notable that the Franchi was largely silent as well.
Fiorentina fans left the bulk of the Curva empty as part of a protest, showing support for 25 supporters to have been handed stadium bans. They also chose to remain silent for the opening 25 minutes for the same reason.
This is not the first such protest, with supporters all across Italy having engaged in similar action in recent years due to several cases of fans being banned from attending matches.