Vincenzo Montella said Fiorentina “must believe in third place” after beating Napoli at the San Paolo.
Joaquin scored late on after Faouzi Ghoulam saw red for a last man foul on Marko Bakic before half-time.
“In the first half we started well, then Napoli put us under pressure with their forwards,” Montella told Sky Sport Italia.
“The red card made things easier for us, but it was a situation that came about naturally during the game. It was tough, as Napoli didn’t play the way I expected them to, with many men behind the ball.
“It was open to any result and we could even have lost, though it would’ve been a real blow. I tried to make the most of the flanks, as I knew Napoli had trouble in that zone of the pitch. It paid off, as Josip Ilicic also created problems between the lines.”
This result leaves the Viola seven points adrift of Napoli in third place and consolidates fourth, as Inter lost to Atalanta today.
“This is an extremely positive day for us,” conceded Montella. “Our duty is to give our all, to keep those behind us further away and close up on those ahead of us. It’s our duty to believe in third.”
Mario Gomez went off with a sprain to the left knee, but the Coach reassured medics were “optimistic.”