Alessandro Matri made the perfect Fiorentina debut, scoring two and providing an assist in their 3-0 victory at Catania.
Rolando Maran made his return to the Elefantini bench, having been fired to make way for Gigi De Canio at the end of October. It was also a comeback for ex-Catania boss Vincenzo Montella, who faced his old club with high-flying Fiorentina.
As Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez are out injured, Alessandro Matri was thrown straight into the Viola starting XI just days after his loan move from Milan was completed. Catania had Francesco Lodi and Gino Peruzzi suspended, while Sergio Almiron and Pablo Alvarez were sidelined.
Fiorentina took the lead with their first genuine scoring opportunity. Matri immediately made his mark, flicking up the ball on the edge of the box for Mati Fernandez to hit a fine low volley.
Matri made his debut even better by getting his name on the scoresheet. He anticipated his marker, sticking out a foot to prod home a Manuel Pasqual ball across the six-yard box.
It was an absolute dream start for Matri, who completed his brace before half-time. Alberto Frison did brilliantly to beat away a deflected Mati Fernandez attempt, but could do nothing on the follow-up from the ex-Milan striker.
Matri wasn’t given the chance to make it a hat-trick, as he was rested at half-time. Mati Fernandez nearly got his second goal of the game, a fierce free kick smacking against the crossbar.
The first real Catania opportunity of the match came after 63 minutes, when Sebastian Leto’s finish was deflected just wide and from the corner Cristian Biraghi nodded straight at Neto.
However, the game had effectively ended at half-time and Catania fans jeered their own players, while others left in droves.