Under Vincenzo Montella, the Viola squad has been given an overhaul -- and it's paid off, as their win over Cagliari moves Fiorentina into fourth.
Four is the magical number for Fiorentina today: Four goals scored, four undefeated matches, breaking Cagliari's streak of four straight wins, and now sitting fourth in the table. All in all, an excellent display for the Viola, who, under Vincenzo Montella, are finally emerging from the dark cloud that's been chasing them the past two seasons.
Cagliari actually started off the brighter of the two sides in Florence. Had Andrea Cossu not slipped, propelling his shot just over the bar, the lead, and the momentum, may have gone to the visitors.
Instead it was Fiorentina that took the early lead, thanks to Gonzalo Rodriguez. The Argentine took advantage of a precise corner from Borja Valero, losing his marker to head the ball past Michael Agazzi.
The rossoblu found their equalizer just before the break, although it appeared the referee needed some convincing. Federico Casarini got on the end of Cossu's free kick, but the ball bounced around a bit before finding the back of the net. Albin Ekdal was offside, but it was Facundo Roncaglia who'd had the last touch, and so the goal was allowed to stand.
Such controversy, or possibly an earful from Montella, must have fired up the home side, as they scored just minutes after the restart. Cagliari, perhaps thinking Stevan Jovetic was no danger after he'd failed to score in the past three matches, foolishly left the Montenegrin unmarked on a corner. His resulting volley easily passed Agazzi.
Cagliari very nearly equalized just after, but by some miracle, Nenad Tomovic managed to clear Marco Sau's shot off the line. Luca Toni decided his side's lead was too precarious, and gave the Viola a 3-1 advantage in the 54th minute, taking advantage of the counter created by the clearance to tap in the third.
The visitors were broken by this point, but Romulo and substitute Alberto Aquilani spared them further blushes by generously placing their shots off target. Mounir El Hamdaoui nearly added a fourth, but hit the post instead.
But Juan Cuadrado bestowed no such mercy on an exhausted Agazzi. The Cagliari keeper fumbled his clearance, sending it straight to the midfielder, who lobbed the ball into the empty net, giving Fiorentina the 4-1 win.