Fiorentina dismantles 10-man Inter to move to top of Serie A table
MILAN (AP) — Inter Milan's perfect record this season was left in tatters on Sunday after Fiorentina triumphed 4-1 at San Siro to move top of Serie A.
Nikola Kalinic scored a hat trick and also won a penalty which Josip Ilicic converted for the fourth-minute opener. Mauro Icardi netted a consolation goal for 10-man Inter on the hour mark.
Inter had only conceded one goal in its first five Serie A matches but found itself 3-0 down after 23 minutes in a nightmare first half for the home side, which also had Joao Miranda sent off in the 31st minute.
Fiorentina moved above Inter on goal difference. It is the first time the Tuscan side has been top of Serie A since February 1999 — after beating AC Milan.
Inter and Fiorentina both have 15 points, two more than Torino after it held on for a 2-1 win over Palermo despite ending the match with nine men.
Sassuolo, which drew 1-1 against Chievo Verona, is a point further back. Lazio also has 12 points after the capital side came from behind with 10 men to win 2-1 a Hellas Verona for the first time in 24 years.
Marco Parolo snatched Lazio's late winner, minutes after the dismissal of defender Mauricio for a second yellow card.
Udinese also came from behind to win by the same scoreline at Bologna, ending a four-match losing streak, while 10-man AC Milan lost 1-0 at Genoa.
It was first against second at San Siro, with Inter full of confidence after winning its first five matches.
However, it got off to a dismal start as Samir Handanovic conceded an early penalty. The Inter goalkeeper's first touch let him down as he failed to collect a backpass and then barged Kalinic over as he attempted to grab the ball back.
It was the first time Inter had been behind all season and it found itself 2-0 down in the 18th.
Handanovic flew to punch clear Ilicic's effort from distance but it looped up behind him and Kalinic reacted quickest to burst forward and help it in.
Kalinic doubled his tally five minutes later, sliding in to turn home Marcos Alonso's cross after the Spanish defender had waltzed past Ivan Perisic on the left flank.
Matters went from bad to worse for Inter as any hopes of getting back into the match evaporated with the dismissal of Miranda for hauling down Kalinic after a through ball had sent him clear on goal.
Inter pulled one back when Icardi headed Alex Telles' free kick onto the base of the left post and then tapped home the rebound.
But Fiorentina restored its three-goal advantage in the 76th when Kalinic won a tussle with Davide Santon and found Slovenia's Ilicic, who drew defenders toward him before squaring the ball back for the Croatian to complete his hat trick.