Giuseppe Rossi had his first Serie A goal since 2014, but Fiorentina emerged 3-2 winners in a Marassi thriller after Goran Pandev saw red.
Davide Ballardini was celebrating his contract renewal this week, meaning in his third different stint as Coach, he’ll finally get to start a season at Marassi. The Grifone were safe from the risk of relegation and gave Giuseppe Rossi a start against his old club, who in turn were battling for a Europa League spot after a 3-0 victory over Napoli. Vincent Laurini was suspended with Vitor Hugo and Simone Lo Faso injured, but the hosts missed Armando Izzo, Pedro Pereira, Diego Laxalt and Migliore.
Mattia Perin was kept busy early doors by Milan Badelj from the edge of the box, then Giovanni Simeone against his old team couldn’t get on the end of a Riccardo Saponara cross.
Cristiano Biraghi’s left-foot volley skimmed the upright and at the other end Oscar Hiljemark’s ferocious free kick stung Marco Sportiello’s gloves.
Fiorentina broke through just before half-time, as Simeone drew two defenders out wide, nutmegged one of them with an inspired through ball that Marco Benassi turned in at full stretch from six yards.
Genoa got their equaliser thanks to the former Viola fan favourite Rossi, who just had to tap in from five yards as Daniel Bessa combined with substitute Goran Pandev to pull back from the by-line. Although it was his first Serie A goal since January 2014, Pepito did not celebrate against his old club.
Bryan Dabo almost restored the lead immediately, his strike taking a deflection to bounce off the far post.
However, Genoa turned the game around completely instead, as at the end of a well-worked team move, Hiljemark pulled back from the right for substitute Gianluca Lapadula to cushion in the finish with practically his first touch.
Iuri Medeiros also turned a header just wide, but Pandev ruined everything for Genoa with a straight red card for his two-footed lunge on Bruno Gaspar.
It remained a thrilling encounter, as Perin was decisive to deny Diego Falcinelli from close range, but moments later only flapped a Dabo cross into the path of Valentin Eysseric for the cushioned volley with the inside of his right boot.
Fiorentina kept pouring forward and turned it around again three minutes after, as Falcinelli pulled back across the face of goal for Dabo to fire in with his left foot, his debut Serie A goal.
Ervin Zukanovic was sent off from the Genoa bench for dissent, as he wanted Federico Chiesa sent off for a shoulder-barge on Lapadula.
It still wasn’t over, as 10-man Genoa thought they’d equalised in stoppages with Medeiros, but his effort was cleared off the line by Biraghi after beating Sportiello from a tight angle.
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Sent off: Pandev 71 (G), Zukanovic 83 (G, from the bench)