Having thrashed Internazionale in their own back yard, Paulo Sousa insists his Fiorentina side are capable of beating anyone this season.
Having won all their previous five matches this term, Inter were looking to continue their fine start to the campaign against a Viola side who too had started strongly. But Roberto Mancini and his players were left stunned when the visitors stormed into a 3-0 lead after just 23 minutes, with Josip Ilicic opening the scoring from the spot before Nikola Kalinic grabbed a brace.
Worse was to come for the Nerazzurri when they were reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Miranda just past the half-hour mark. And whilst the storms were calmed in the second period and Mauro Icardi was able to prompt hopes of a fight-back on the hour, Kalinic, the former Blackburn Rovers flop, grabbed his hat-trick and fourth goal in six league matches this term.
This win meant Fiorentina leapfrogged Inter at the head of a Serie A table which is likely to feature many more twists and turns before the plaudits are handed out in May. The Viola haven’t been crowned champions of Italy since Bruno Pesaola led them to their second Scudetto in 1969, but current coach Sousa has not ruled out them winning what would be a first title in 47 years.
“I said there were other teams who invested heavily, but I won’t hold back either, as we have the quality to face every match knowing we can win,” he told Sky Sport Italia.”I told the lads from the start I want a team always ready to take on anyone, always maintaining our approach. We have principles of football that we work hard on and this will give us more confidence going forward.”