- Associated Press - Sunday, September 27, 2015

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.

“Being here and working with this group is wonderful,” Fiorentina coach Paulo Sousa said. “We have got continuity, playing well at the back as well as up front.

“There are teams which have invested a lot, they have different aims to us, but I am not going to hold back and I continue to say that we can face anyone to win.”

Inter had only conceded one goal in its first five Serie A matches but found itself 3-0 down after 23 minutes in a shambolic first half for the home side, which also had Joao Miranda sent off in the 31st minute.

“Nothing changes for us,” Inter coach Roberto Mancini said. “We had our feet on the ground already and so this defeat doesn’t serve as a lesson to us.”

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 at 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.

“I take my share of the responsibility,” Handanovic said. “I made an error with the stop (for Kalinic’s first), but the penalty was one that is sometimes given and sometimes not.

“But it was a nightmare evening in all points of view. We need to forget tonight and move forward.”

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.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide