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Final score: Fiorentina 1-0 Belenenses

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La Viola dominate a listless-looking Belenenses to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Europa League in second place.

We can beat them just for one day. We can be heroes, just for one day.
We can beat them just for one day. We can be heroes, just for one day.
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Pregame

Both teams could advance with a win, so you know they're both going to go for it. Belenenses manager Ricardo Sá Pinto brought out his first XI, while Paulo Sousa fielded more of a B-team, probably thinking ahead to the looming Juventus fixture.

First half

Fiorentina maintained control, but didn't generate as many chances as they might have wanted. Still, Marcos Alsonso blasted one just wide from distance and Khouma Babacar headed off the crossbar. Gilberto, handed his first start in months, sparkled. Still, la Viola badly needed a goal or two to put it away.

Second half

More dominance in terms of possession and chances created, highlighted by another header, this time by Alonso, off the crossbar. Finally, though, Khouma Babacar's cool finish in the 68th minute gave the Viola a well-deserved lead, and Fiorentina never looked like conceding.

Full time

Well, it wasn't pretty, but Fiorentina advance to the knockout stages of the Europa League, albeit in second place. Still, this was an excellent performance from the entire team, and a fitting end to the group stage campaign.

Starting lineups

Fiorentina (3-4-1-2): Sepe; Tomovic, Astori, Alonso; Gilberto (Bernardeschi 56'), Badelj (Suárez 79'), Verdú, Pasqual; Valero (Vecino 61'); Rossi (YC 70'), Babacar

Belenenses (4-2-3-1): Ventura; Amorim, Silva, Alfonso (YC 65'), Ferreira; Sousa (Sousa 56'), Pinto (Nunes 79'); Dias (YC 90'), Martins, Sturgeon (YC 69', Caeiro 83'); Leal

Scorecard

67: Goal Babacar, assist Verdú