Fiorentina's unbeaten run of nine games came to an end on Saturday, as Roma put on an entertaining display to earn their fourth straight win. Captain Francesco Totti was at his best, involved in every goal.
As expected, Fiorentina's trip to Rome resulted in a plethora of goals, most of them scored by the home side. Francesco Totti's brace helped lift AS Roma to victory, putting them level on points with the Viola, in fourth.
It was Fiorentina who fired the first shot, six minutes in, but goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea was up to the challenge, stopping Manuel Pasqual's attempt. Just a minute later and Roma had the lead. After a foul by Facundo Roncaglia, Totti stepped up to take the free kick. Panagiotis Tachtsidis nodded it along, but the ball took a bounce, forcing a touch from Leandro Castán to get it over the line.
The Viola responded quickly, equalizing in the 14th minute. This time it was Castán that conceded the foul, and Roncaglia that took advantage. Borja Valero floated in the free kick, prompting his teammates to spring the offside trap. Gonzalo Rodríguez sent it on to Roncaglia, who was unmarked and able to easily slot the ball into the open net.
Just five minutes later and the home side had the advantage once again. Totti and Mattia Destro enjoyed a bit of back and forth before the youngster pulled back for his captain. The veteran fired his shot straight past Emiliano Viviano to put Roma in front once again.
The giallorossi, in true Zdenek Zeman style, continued to pour forth, perhaps realizing a one-goal lead just wasn't enough of a cushion. Fiorentina had just one more shot in the first half, a screamer from Roncaglia, while on the other end, Totti tried for another, Michael Bradley took a chance, and Miralem Pjanic offered up many sacrifices to the football gods.
So it wasn't surprising, then, that Roma extended their lead just before the break. Totti sent in a lovely, curling kick from 30 yards. A tired Viviano could do nothing but flap at the ball as it flew by, likely dreaming of his halftime espresso.
Fiorentina were revitalized by the break, or perhaps by Vincenzo Montella's halftime changes, bringing on Mati Fernandez and Mounir El Hamdaoui. The latter needed just one minute and one touch to reduce the deficit. El Hamdaoui got his head on the end of Valero's cross, wrong-footing Goicoechea, who was headed in the other direction.
Roma, however, kept control, and, surprisingly, their composure. Fiorentina had a flurry of shots in the last five minutes, but the giallorossi defense was up to the challenge, with Castán blocking a shot from Juan Cuadrado, and Goiconechea saving an attempt from substitute Haris Seferovic. The keeper needed Bradley to rescue him just a few minutes later, however, when a Viola corner, headed on by Alberto Aquilani, would have found its way to goal had the American not cleared it off the line.
Then, in the 88th minute, substitute Pablo Osvaldo put the final nail in Fiorentina's coffin, giving them their first loss in ten Serie A matches. Totti nutmegged a defender to set up Osvaldo, who threaded the ball through Viviano's legs for Roma's fourth.