Mutu brace fires Fiorentina
Fiorentina made a welcome return to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory over lowly Catania at the Artemio Franchi stadium this afternoon.
Back-to-back draws against Sampdoria and Bari had seen La Viola drop down the Serie A standings. But Adrian Mutu scored twice in the first half before Alberto Gilardino made it 3-0 after the hour mark to dent Catania's hopes of clinching their first win on the road in 13 months.
The result has lifted Fiorentina to tenth in the standings, while Catania lie two places and just one point above the relegation zone.
Fiorentina went into the game looking for their first win in four games and Mutu put them ahead in the 21st minute. Gilardino nodded the ball across to the Romanian, who was at the far post to head home his team's opener.
La Viola doubled their lead three minutes later. Mutu capitalised on a misunderstanding between Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar and Ezequiel Carboni to fire a right-footed strike from the heart of the area into the back of the net.
Gonzalo Bergessio came close to bringing Catania back into the game on the half-hour mark, but his effort from the edge of the area was kept out by Fiorentina goalkeeper Artur Boruc. On the stroke of half-time, Fiorentina's Ricardo Montolivo's 30-yard shot went just over the bar.
Catania started to show some signs of life early in the second half and Maxi Lopez shot just inches wide of the far post from 15 yards on the hour mark as the Sicilians stepped up their search for a way back into the game.
But as they committed men forward, they left gaps in behind and the hosts wrapped up the points in the 61st minute when Montolivo fed Gilardino inside the area and the Italy international struck past Andujar.