Mario Gomez broke his Serie A duck with a brace as Fiorentina ran out 5-2 winners at Marassi.
It has been a mixed start for the Viola, who beat Catania 2-1 in their Serie A opener and reached the Europa League despite a 1-0 home defeat to Grasshoppers on Thursday. Genoa boss Fabio Liverani was already under pressure following a Coppa Italia exit and 2-0 loss to Inter and Andrea Bertolacci pulled out in the warm-up.
The Viola’s record at Marassi was not great, as five of the last eight League visits here ended in stalemates. Juan Cuadrado was not 100 per cent fit, so Vincenzo Montella changed system to a 4-3-1-2 with Borja Valero in a trequartista role.
Fiorentina inexplicably failed to score after four minutes, as Giuseppe Rossi scuffed his finish to hit the upright and Mario Gomez ballooned the follow-up over from six yards.
Alberto Aquilani did get their opener thanks to a totally free header from six yards on a corner, though he had to crouch down to get to it.
Fiorentina doubled their lead with Rossi, though much of the ‘credit’ must go to goalkeeper Mattia Perin. It was a seemingly harmless long-range shot that bounced in front of Perin, but he accidentally flapped it up and over his body into the net.
Neto has come in for a lot of criticism this season, but he performed a stunning reaction save on Alberto Gilardino’s header from close range.
Borja Valero’s rising strike flashed over the bar from the tightest of angles, but Gomez finally got his debut Serie A goal.
The German international timed his run to the near post, where he volleyed in the Manuel Pasqual cross from close range.
Alberto Gilardino got Genoa a consolation goal, not to mention their first of the season, with a magnificent volley from a tight angle that flashed across the ‘keeper into the far top corner.
It lasted all of 60 seconds before Rossi tapped in from an Aquilani assist down the right.
The referee awarded a penalty for Marvin Compper’s shirt-tug on Gilardino. Ex-Catania midfielder Francesco Lodi stepped up and buried it calmly.
Aquilani’s finish skimmed the woodwork from a Rossi assist, while Neto again had to deny Gilardino from close range.
Fiorentina added a fifth goal in stoppages when Mati Fernandez ran into the area and was brought down by Mario Sampirisi, his second bookable offence. Gomez converted the spot-kick, though the Genoa players were furious.
Sent off: Sampirisi 91 (G)