Josip Ilicic and Rafal Wolski gave Fiorentina a much-needed victory over 10-man Atalanta.
The Viola needed a boost after picking up one draw from their last three games in Serie A and the Coppa Italia. Giuseppe Rossi, Mario Gomez, Massimo Ambrosini, Alberto Aquilani, Ante Rebic and Nenad Tomovic missed out, while Gonzalo Rodriguez was a late addition to the injury list. Atalanta were fresh from humiliating Napoli 3-0, welcoming back Carlos Carmona and Davide Brivio from suspension, though Marko Livaja, Lionel Scaloni and Gianpaolo Bellini were sidelined.
Borja Valero and Josip Ilicic turned early efforts off target, but Juan Cuadrado’s dangerous cross was cleared by Cristian Raimondi on to the face of Juan Manuel Vargas and ricocheted over from a yard.
Ilicic broke the deadlock with a magnificent free kick that he curled over the wall into the near top corner from around 20 metres.
Modibo Diakite gave the ball away on the edge of his own area, but made up for it by getting back to force Giacomo Bonaventura into a goal kick. Luca Cigarini then drilled inches wide from distance, while Andrea Consigli beat away a Borja Valero effort and Anderson cross-shot.
Atalanta were angry when Neto rushed off his line to clear from Maxi Moralez and clattered into him, but the referee had a good view and judged the goalkeeper to have got there first without dangerous play.
The visitors were pushing forward and Neto had to get down well to fingertip a Bonaventura daisy-cutter round the base of the near post.
Atalanta had another great chance before the break, as Neto reacted well to parry a Bonaventura attempt from point-blank range set up by Maxi Moralez. With the last kick of the first half, an Ilicic angled drive skimmed the far post.
The Orobici remained very aggressive in the second half, as a Denis cross-shot flashed all the way along the six-yard box.
Alessandro Matri knocked down a cross for Borja Valero’s volley palmed round the post, while Diakite’s diving header from a corner was charged down by Yohan Benalouane.
Atalanta’s hopes of getting back into the game ended with Cigarini’s second bookable offence, a trip on Mati Fernandez. They still pushed forward, but from a corner allowed a rapid counter-attack that Rafal Wolski finished off with his debut Serie A goal. The Poland international held off three defenders to side-foot it past the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Sent off: Cigarini 81 (A)