Conference League | Hearts 0-3 Fiorentina: Purple Hearts

Fiorentina finally showed what they are capable of in the Conference League, dominating Hearts from start to finish and there could’ve been many more goals, but the best was a Christian Kouame bicycle-kick.

The Viola were bottom of the group with just one point from two games and visited Edinburgh without Antonin Barak, Gaetano Castrovilli and Riccardo Sottil. Hearts were missing Craig Halkett, Kye Rowles and Liam Boyce are injured, with Robert Snodgrass off the Europa League list.

Fiorentina took the lead within four minutes, as Aleksa Terzic whipped in a cross from the right and Rolando Mandragora made a run from deep, allowing him a completely free header from eight yards.

Pierluigi Gollini was given the gloves despite some recent howlers and was fortunate that there is no VAR in the Conference League, because he seemed to handle outside the box in the opening 10 minutes.

Luka Jovic nodded over from a corner, then Igor surged forward from defence and saw his screamer denied by a one-handed save.

Another couple of Jovic attempts were off target, but Christian Kouame doubled their lead with an acrobatic bicycle-kick from eight yards after a poor attempt to clear the cross.

Mandragora almost completed his brace, forcing a save from six yards with his flick on the Kouame assist, but Gollini made his first real save on the stroke of half-time, using his legs to deny Joshua Ginnelly from a tight angle.

Fiorentina absolutely dominated the first half, with 69 per cent possession and 30 attacks to eight, including 11 attempts on target to two. An even more astonishing statistic was the completed passes, as the Viola made 244 to just 80 for Hearts.

It got even worse for the hosts, as straight after the restart Lewis Neilson was shown a straight red card for dragging back Jovic when clear on goal. It was somewhat harsh, because the goalkeeper seemed to be getting to the ball anyway.

Kouame nodded over from a corner and Riccardo Saponara’s curler was just over, but the Viola largely relaxed into their lead after that red card.

They did get a third on the counter and a morale-booster for off-form Jovic, as Kouame rolled across to lay it on a silver platter for the former Real Madrid striker to sweep in.

Hearts 0-3 Fiorentina

Mandragora 4 (F), Kouame 42 (F), Jovic 79 (F)

Sent off: Neilson 48 (H)

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