Juventus humiliated rivals Fiorentina 5-0 at the Stadio Franchi with Mirko Vucinic pulling the strings after Alessio Cerci was sent off.
This has always been a bitter grudge match, but the Viola needed points to avoid being sucked into the relegation dogfight, while the Bianconeri had to win in order to keep up with leaders Milan and end their run of four straight stalemates. Andrea Barzagli was out and Giorgio Chiellini only fit for the bench. The home side missed Stevan Jovetic, Valon Behrami, Dias Felipe and Per Kroldrup, but had Amauri against his former club.
The Fiorentina fans crowded into the Stadio Franchi wearing colourful wigs with which to mock Juve Coach Antonio Conte.
Mirko Vucinic had the first chance after six minutes with a low side-foot finish that cracked against the base of the upright, then Alessandro Matri turned the follow-up over the bar.
Vucinic did get it on target and into the net to give Juventus the lead. It was a smart close-passing move in the build-up and the ex-Roma striker eventually curled into the near top corner from the edge of the box, leaving Artur Boruc rooted to the spot.
The game took another twist for Fiorentina when Alessio Cerci was shown a straight red card for kicking at Paolo De Ceglie’s backside. It was spotted by the assistant referee, as it was an off the ball reaction but did not seem capable of causing harm, although it was a gesture that had to be sanctioned.
Juve made it 2-0 from a corner, as Vucinic shielded the ball to pull back from the by-line for Arturo Vidal, whose first shot was beaten away by Boruc, but he got the second into the net. Vidal and Leonardo Bonucci celebrated with a mock punch-up, referring to stories of a nightclub brawl involving the two last week.
Martin Caceres accidentally passed straight to Amauri, but the Juve defence were able to recover. Boruc clumsily punched an Andrea Pirlo pass off the head of Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Vucinic burst down the left and dribbled past Mattia Cassani to flash a shot across the face of goal.
It was an aggressive start to the second half from 10-man Fiorentina, as Cesare Natali’s effort was charged down, then the defender had a free header over from the Juan Manuel Vargas free kick.
Another Vargas ball across the face of goal was scrambled clear just before Lorenzo De Silvestri could tap in. Matri pulled back for Vucinic, who fired wide with only Boruc to beat.
Juve made it 3-0 when Vucinic avoided the offside trap down the left and crossed to the back post for a Claudio Marchisio diving header from six yards.
Fiorentina were extremely unlucky not to get one back when Andrea Lazzari curled from outside the area, but Gigi Buffon got a fingertip to it and turned the shot on to the upright.
Manuel Pasqual pounced on a poor Vidal backpass, but blazed well wide of the near post.
Instead, Juventus added a fourth with Pirlo, who ran on to a Vucinic through ball and drew out Boruc, chipping the goalkeeper from a tight angle, the outside edge of the six-yard box.
Substitute Simone Padoin scored with his first touch, as a Pirlo effort was deflected into the path of the ex-Atalanta midfielder to tap in at the back stick.
Fiorentina fans left in droves, while others congregated around the directors’ box to hurl abuse at the club owners, who also walked out long before the final whistle. This was the Viola’s biggest ever home defeat to Juventus, as the previous worst was 4-1 in April 1995.
Sent off: Cerci 21 (F)