Fiorentina are top of the table for the first time since 1999 after destroying leaders Inter 4-1 at San Siro with a Nikola Kalinic hat-trick.
Stevan Jovetic was all set to face his former teammates when he picked up a muscular injury in the warm-up, so Rodrigo Palacio stepped in, while Danilo D’Ambrosio and Jeison Murillo missed out. Manuel Pasqual and Marko Bakic were unavailable for the visitors.
Going into the weekend this was first against second and this fixture hadn’t ended in a stalemate since the 2-2 in November 1996.
It was a dramatic start, as within the opening minutes Samir Handanovic’s first touch let him down on a Gary Medel backpass and he barged over Nikola Kalinic for a penalty. It was only a booking for the goalkeeper, as the angle was too narrow for it to be considered a clear scoring opportunity.
Handanovic almost made up for the error, but couldn’t quite get a hand to the spot-kick from fellow Slovenia international Josip Ilicic. This was the first time all season that Inter had been behind, as they had conceded only one goal in four games.
Fiorentina doubled their lead with another howler from Handanovic. The goalkeeper actually did very well to punch an Ilicic screamer out of the air, but he seemed to hesitate when assuming Kalinic was offside, allowing the striker to bundle over the line.
The Viola were enjoying their football and incredibly scored a third against an Inter team that had conceded one in the previous five games put together. Marcos Alonso ran rings around Ivan Perisic down the left and Kalinic came sliding in to meet the cross from six yards.
It went from bad to worse, as a through ball sent Kalinic clear on goal and Joao Miranda dragged him back by the neck for an inevitable red card.
Ciprian Tatarusanu almost scored a comical own goal, miskicking a back-pass for it to roll just wide of the empty net.
Andrea Ranocchia came on for the second half and Fiorentina dominated possession even more. Handanovic smothered a low Milan Badelj drive, but Inter did get one back through a dead ball situation.
Alex Telles chipped up the free kick and Mauro Icardi first nodded on to the inside of the post, then bundled the rebound over the line.
The Viola lowered the tempo considerably and seemed content to sit on their lead, Nenad Tomovic testing Handanovic from distance with a half-volley. There was bad news for the visitors, as Facundo Roncaglia was stretchered off.
Fiorentina seemed to be biding their time and struck when Davide Santon was robbed in the final third, Ilicic drew everyone to him and rolled across for Kalinic to fire into an empty net. It allowed the Croatian to complete his hat-trick.
Kalinic almost got a fourth, his angled drive beaten away one-handed by Handanovic.
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Sent off: Miranda 31 (I)