Milan (AFP) – Teenaged forward Federico Chiesa’s first Serie A goal for Fiorentina in a 3-0 romp at Chievo boosted La Viola’s Europa League hopes on Saturday.
A week after stunning champions and leaders Juventus 2-1 to throw the Serie A title race open, Fiorentina travelled to the Bentegodi stadium without suspended Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic.
But Kalinic, who last week rejected the chance to move to Tianjin in the Chinese Super League, was the least of Chievo’s problems on a night their defence went for a wander.
In Kalinic’s absence Khouma Babacar was handed a rare start, although Cristian Tello beat the Senegal centre-forward to the plaudits when he intercepted Dario Dainelli just after the quarter-hour and beat Stefano Sorrentino on a one-on-one.
Fiorentina were 2-0 up minutes after the restart, Babacar firing past Sorrentino from the spot after Fabrizio Cacciatore had fouled Chiesa in the area.
Chiesa thought he had scored what would have been an impressive opening league goal last week, with the winner against Juventus, only for the goal to be later awarded to teammate Milan Badelj.
In the dying seconds Chiesa, 19, made amends in style when he finished a counter-attack to fire past an outstretched Sorrentino in the fourth minute of added-on time.
Fiorentina moved up to eighth, 12 points behind leaders Juventus ahead of the Turin giants’ home game against Lazio Sunday.
AC Milan, in fifth at eight points adrift, host Napoli, in third at four points behind, in Saturday’s late game.
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