Fiorentina kept their cool and Stevan Jovetic broke his goal drought to end Cagliari’s run of four consecutive wins in style.
This was a very tough one to call, as the Viola were steaming up the table after Thursday’s 1-0 win at Genoa, while the Sardinians had won all four since Coach Ivo Pulga took charge. However, while Michele Camporese was the only absentee for the Tuscans, Cagliari had Daniele Conti and Radja Nainggolan suspended.
Despite the absences, Cagliari showed their confidence with a bright start at the Stadio Franchi and Andrea Cossu slipped as he was pulling the trigger after Facundo Roncaglia’s error.
However, the Viola emerged from their shells after a 10-minute spell under pressure and Stevan Jovetic just failed to get on the end of a Luca Toni flick-on.
Fiorentina took the lead, as Gonzalo Rodriguez peeled away from Murru for a towering header on a Borja Valero corner.
Cagliari had a great chance to draw level, but Thiago Ribeiro hit a fresh-air shot in the middle, then the ball carried on to Cossu who fired straight at the goalkeeper. The Sardinians were putting crosses into the box, but not enough forwards were there to make the most of them.
There was controversy on the stroke of half-time, as Cagliari first thought their equaliser had been disallowed, then it was given following a discussion between the referee and his assistants. The Cossu free kick came out for a Federico Casarini shot that took a deflection on its way past Emiliano Viviano. Albin Ekdal was offside, but the replays show the final touch was off Roncaglia, while the Swede was not in Viviano’s eyeline.
Fiorentina restored their advantage after the restart with Stevan Jovetic’s first goal in three games. A corner came to the edge of the six-yard box where the Montenegrin and Nenad Tomovic were both totally unmarked, the captain getting there first to volley in with the inside of his left foot.
Cagliari wasted a golden opportunity to equalise and were made to pay when Tomovic performed a goalline clearance on Sau to spark an immediate counter. As the move continued, Jovetic rolled across from the right for Toni to tap in.
It could’ve been four, but Romulo fired over at the end of another counter-attack, Alberto Aquilani nodded wide and Mounir El Hamdaoui skimmed the upright after a solo run.
The fourth goal was rather odd, as Michael Agazzi’s poor clearance came to Juan Cuadrado, who spotted the goalkeeper off his line and immediately curled in a lob.