MILAN: Fiorentina moved level with third-place Napoli in Serie A with a 3-0 win over bottom club Cagliari on Monday.
Nicolas Gonzalez netted his sixth goal of the season to set Fiorentina on the way to victory and see it join the defending champion and Juventus. They’re four points behind Serie A leaders AC Milan and Inter Milan.
It all got even bleaker for Cagliari and manager Claudio Ranieri even at this early stage of the season. The Sardinian team have just two points from their opening seven matches back in the top flight.
Fiorentina, who have lost just one match, got off to the perfect start as they took the lead with barely two minutes on the clock.
Cagliari goalkeeper Boris Radunovic misjudged Nikola Milenkovic’s free kick and could only flap at the ball, allowing Gonzalez to slot it into an empty net.
Fiorentina were dominating but needed another bit of fortune to double their lead in the 21st minute. Some great play from Michael Kayode saw the Fiorentina right back weave his way into the area and his cross was turned into the back of the net by Cagliari defender Alberto Dossena.
Cagliari improved in the second half and almost got back into the match but Andrea Petagna hit the crossbar, although he was probably offside in any case.
M’Bala Nzola extended Fiorentina’s lead in stoppage time when he raced onto a long ball from Rolando Mandragora and dinked it over Radunovic.
Monza halted a four-match winless run with a 1-0 victory at in-form Sassuolo.
Lorenzo Colombo scored a delightful solo goal in the 66th minute to give Monza their second win of the season. The young forward could have had another late on but it was ruled out for offside.
The match also saw the return of Papu Gomez to Italian soccer. The former Atalanta star joined Monza last week on a free transfer after ending his contract with Sevilla.
Sassuolo had beaten Juventus and Inter Milan in their past two matches.
Monza moved level on points with Sassuolo and Torino.
Torino drew 0-0 at home to Hellas Verona to remain a point above their opponent.
Verona started the season with two victories but have not won since and have failed to score in their past four matches.