MILAN (Reuters) – Fiorentina hit four goals before halftime, including a cheeky backheel by Gonzalo Rodriguez and a Panenka-style penalty from Khouma Babacar, to beat Frosinone 4-1 and join Inter Milan at the top of Serie A on Sunday.
Napoli dropped two points behind the leading pair and missed out on a sixth successive league win after squandering numerous chances in a 0-0 draw at Genoa, one of three goalless games among the five played on Sunday afternoon.
Struggling Bologna gave new coach Roberto Donadoni a winning start when they beat Atalanta 3-0 with second-half goals from Emanuele Giaccherini, Mattia Destro and Franco Brienza.
Former Italy player and coach Donadoni had a nightmare season last year with Parma who finished bottom of the table amid financial problems and were later expelled from the professional league.
Stylish Fiorentina quickly took control although they needed a freak goal from Ante Rebic to break the deadlock in the 24th minute.
The Croat swung over what appeared to be a cross from the right but the ball looped over goalkeeper Massimo Zappino and went in off the far post.
Rebic struck the post again in the next attack and it did not take long for Fiorentina to double their lead.
Rodriguez got away from the Frosinone defence at the near post and directed Matias Fernandez’s free kick into the net after 29 minutes.
Babacar added the third goal two minutes later after Fernandez had been fouled in the area.
The Senegalese scored with a dinked shot down the middle known as a ‘Panenka’, named after the former Czechoslovakia player who is credited with pioneering the technique.
Mario Suarez scored the fourth in the 43rd minute when he nipped in to intercept a pass out of defence and placed his shot past the hapless Zappino.
Fourth from bottom Frosinone kept their goal intact after the break and made the scoreline look more respectable when Alessandro Frara pulled one back three minutes from time.
Paulo Sousa’s team moved on to 24 points from 11 games, alongside Inter Milan who beat AS Roma 1-0 on Saturday. They are followed by Roma on 23 and Napoli on 22.
Napoli had only themselves to blame as they failed to win at Genoa. Marek Hamsik wasted one of their best chances when Lorenzo Insigne’s lofted pass gave him a free shot on goal but he mis-hit his effort and allowed Mattia Perin to save.
Insigne and Gonzalo Higuain got in each other’s way as they both went for David Lopez’s cross at the far post and Perin did well to turn away Manolo Gabbiadini’s free kick in stoppage time.
Carpi and Verona stayed level at the bottom on six points after they also drew 0-0.
Verona are the only winless team after 11 matches and coach Andrea Mandorlini is in danger of losing his job after nearly five years in the post.
The other goalless stalemate was between Udinese and fifth-placed Sassuolo.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Tony Jimenez and Toby Davis)