Nikola Kalinic grabbed a hat-trick as Fiorentina secured a stunning 4-1 win over 10-man Inter at San Siro, replacing the hosts at the top of Serie A in the process.
Josip Ilicic also found the net for the visitors, while Inter lost Miranda to a red card in a disastrous opening half-hour.
The former Atletico Madrid defender was shown a straight red card for pulling down Kalinic with the striker clean through, with Fiorentina already having raced into a 3-0 lead.
Roberto Mancini’s side had gone into the game boasting a 100 per cent record this term, but were torn apart by their opponents and could easily have lost by an even more emphatic scoreline.
Prior to Miranda’s dismissal, Ilicic’s penalty and a quick-fire double from Kalinic had put Fioreninta in total control and although Mauro Icardi pulled one back on the hour, it was left to Kalinic to complete his treble with 14 minutes left.
Fiorentina now leap to the summit, ahead of Inter on goal difference on the back of their third win in succession.
Inter suffered a major blow before kick-off as in-form striker Stevan Jovetic picked up a thigh injury in the warm-up and was denied the chance to face one of his former clubs.
And there was worse to come for the hosts just four minutes into the game when they conceded only their second goal of the season.
Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic took a heavy touch in trying to control a routine back pass, allowing Kalinic to nip in and draw the foul.
Handanovic escaped with a yellow card, but there was no let-off from the spot as Ilicic rifled home.
The luckless Handanovic was involved again for Fiorentina’s second, this time doing superbly well to parry a thumping 25-yard drive from Ilicic, only to see the ball loop up and fall kindly for Kalinic who had the simple task of tapping in from almost on the line.
Fiorentina were rampant at this stage and five minutes later they left Mancini with his head in his hands as Marco Alonso got away down the left, swept the ball across the face of goal and Kalinic was perfectly placed to slide home his second of the night.
Inter simply could not cope with the visitors’ pace and movement in the final third and they found themselves reduced to 10 men on the half-hour mark.
Kalinic exploited another yawning gap at the back to bear down on goal and the hopelessly out-paced Miranda hauled him to the ground, leaving referee Antonio Damato with little choice but to brandish the red card.
Inter improved slightly after the break and were rewarded as Icardi reacted quickest to a rebound from close range.
That was about as good as it got for Inter, however, as Ilicic teed up Kalinic to add his third to make the game safe and compound Mancini’s misery.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!