This game had it all. A phenomenal Mati Fernandez who plays in the form of his life, three goals after set pieces, Stefan Savic scoring against a team that's not Sampdoria, Neto having a blunder. And, wait for it... Mounir El Hamdaoui not only still exists, he bagged his first goal of the season.
Starting the game with six midfielders, it was a clear sign what kind of game Vincenzo Montella wanted - to dominate the possession, control the game as much as possible and prevent Cesena counter attacks. And it worked more than well. The viola have spent almost all the time on the home side's half, without being exposed to quick breaks by the seahorses.
However, there weren't too many chances created, and Fiorentina was the most dangerous from set pieces and long shots. Alberto Aquilani tried couple of times, but couldn't get his shots on target. The best chance in first half was a Mario Gomez's header after Mati Fernandez cross, but Leali miraculously saved it. So we had to wait until almost the halftime for the first goal. Another set piece, and the ball came to Borja Valero, some 10 meters away from goal. Leali didn't have any chance this time.
Half time didn't even properly start and we were already up 2-0. Another set piece, Mati Fernandez cross met by Savic's header from the edge of six yard box. Leali stood on the line, even though he should have collected it, so, we thank him for that.
Then Gomez had a chance. Yet again, it was Mati Fernandez who sent in a brilliant through pass. SuperMario was one on one with Leali, and than... this happened:
Poor Mario. It has to be said, though, that Gomez had more than a decent game up to that point. In fact, he was sacrificing himself a lot for the team, but more then that - he was a constant danger for Cesena's defense. He spent a lot of time on the edge of offside, sometimes wrongly ruled against him, but he was in the game. This miss, though... not good.
As if that wasn't bad enough, few minutes later, Neto did this:
Maybe the excuse for both of them is the artificial surface on the Dino Manuzzi stadium, which makes the ball go faster, but... Maybe not.
Luckily, Cesena didn't manage to really get back into the game. In fact, just like the goal, the only chances they had, came after defensive mistakes - Balanta slipping, or Savic misplacing a pass.
Fiorentina's third goal came after another set piece. Mati chose a short option for Pizarro, he then crossed it in for Gonzalo Rodriguez who headed it into the net. In the end, deep in injury time, El Hamdaoui scored his first goal of the season, tapping the ball in after Leali saved a beautiful curling shot from Mati Fernandez.
Fiorentina is now only three points from the third place. With the favorable schedule in the next four games - Empoli (home), Parma (away) Palermo (home) and Chievo (away), plus the Coppa Italia game against Atalanta.