Domenico Di Carlo failed to make a winning impact in his first game in the Cesena dugout as Fiorentina claimed a comfortable 4-1 Serie A victory at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi. The former Chievo and Livorno boss replaced Pierpaolo Bisoli this week with a view to extracting the Seahorses from a relegation battle, but he learned exactly how tough that task will be on Sunday. Goals either side of the break from Borja Valero and Stefan Savic gave Fiorentina a healthy lead and, after the latter helped Cesena out with an own-goal, home defender Massimo Volta was sent off. Gonzalo Rodriguez and substitute Mounir El Hamdaoui promptly used the extra space to grab a goal apiece, with the defeat leaving Cesena five points from 17th-placed Torino and safety. Fiorentina would dominate the first half but had to be patient in their quest to open the scoring. Alberto Aquilani went close with a shot from distance after only five minutes and, a few moments later, Mario Gomez tried his luck with a diving header only to see Nicola Leali make a smart save. La Viola struggled to break their opponents down and did not really threaten again until the 36th minute when Mati Fernandez's clever flick took him into the Cesena box. Gomez was arriving at speed with a view to turning the ball home, but the home defence cleared. Two minutes before the break, Fiorentina managed to make the breakthrough. When Volta failed to clear his lines properly after a corner, Valero swept up the ball before steering it beyond Leali with precision. Fiorentina wasted no time extending their lead when play resumed and Savic grabbed goal number two in the 47th minute. The former Manchester City defender was perfectly placed to glance home Fernandez's free-kick with his head, and Cesena were suddenly faced with the prospect of a third straight defeat. The visitors pushed hard for a third goal to kill the game off and twice went close with Marcos Alonso sending a cross into a packed penalty area before Gomez stumbled in a one-on-one with Leali. Cesena were gifted a way back into the match shortly before the hour mark as Savic cancelled out the effect of his goal by putting through his own net in calamitous fashion. The howler was caused by a lack of communication, with Savic failing to warn Neto he was heading the ball back to him before watching it roll past the hapless goalkeeper and into the net. At that point Cesena might have considered the unlikely comeback within their reach, but that was set to change as Volta left them a man light by earning his second yellow card for a rough foul on Alonso. The dismissal would indeed quash the hosts' hopes of fighting back as it spurred Fiorentina towards scoring their third goal. With 79 minutes on the clock David Pizarro collected the ball from a corner before picking out Rodriguez for a firm header that beat Leali to the top corner. Di Carlo's men looked thoroughly deflated and were helpless to resist in stoppage time as El Hamdaoui confirmed the outcome by depositing Fernandez's pass in the net.
Football SERIE A