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Fiorentina spoil SPAL run to move second in Serie A

Milan (AFP) – Fiorentina moved second in Serie A on Saturday with a 3-0 win in Tuscany spoiling SPAL’s promising start to this season’s Italian league campaign.

Ferrara outfit SPAL had been riding high in second, three points behind champions Juventus, before the tie in Florence with just one goal conceded in four games.

But Croatian World Cup runner-up Marko Pjaca opened the floodgates after 18 minutes with Serbian defender Nikola Milenkovic heading in a second ten minutes later.

Italian international Federico Chiesa completed the scoreline after 56 minutes as Fiorentina bounced back from last week’s 1-0 defeat to Napoli to climb to second, two points behind Juventus who travel to promoted Frosinone on Sunday.

SPAL drop to fifth.

Earlier former Arsenal winger Gervinho scored a stunning goal as Parma beat Cagliari 2-0 to secure back-to-back wins after they shocked Inter Milan at the San Siro last weekend.

Ivory Coast international Gervinho scored the second goal two minutes after the break, picking up the ball just outside his own penalty area, and making a spectacular 50-metre dash, zigzagging past three Cagliari defenders and unleashing a shot that bounced off the post and into the net for his second Serie A goal this season.

The 31-year-old former Roma player returned to Serie A last month after leaving the Italian capital for Chinese club Hebei China Fortune in January 2016.

“I don’t know if it’s my best goal, as I’ve scored many in my time,” said Gervinho, who scored his other goal this season against champions Juventus.

“What really matters is the victory. We are all a team and work together to keep Parma in the top flight.”

Roberto Inglese scored the opener after 20 minutes as the ball bounced off Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno’s chest and Inglese’s face before landing in the net, after the on-loan Napoli player had an earlier effort ruled offside.

Gervinho was substituted five minutes from time to a standing ovation at the Stadio Tardini, as Parma moved up to seventh following their first Serie A win at home since 2015.

Two-time UEFA Cup winners Parma were declared bankrupt and demoted to the amateur leagues in 2015, before three successive promotions saw them return to Serie A.

It was the second defeat of the season for Cagliari, who held AC Milan to a draw last weekend, and have five points from as many games.

Juventus head to Frosinone on Sunday looking to keep their 100 percent record, with last season’s runners-up Napoli away to Torino and Roma looking to get their campaign back on track at Bologna.

Frosinone are second from the bottom of the league, with just one point, and are still waiting for their first goal.

“It’s a pity Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in the Champions League, because now he’s well-rested and furious,” said Frosinone coach Moreno Longo.

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