Three and easy for Fiorentina
Stevan Jovetic struck a second-half brace as freescoring Fiorentina eased to a 3-0 victory over Palermo.
Last Updated: 22/12/12 5:32pm
Stevan Jovetic struck a second-half brace as freescoring Fiorentina ensured they would finish 2012 in the Champions League places in Serie A with a comfortable victory at lowly Palermo.
Jovetic, who had been a doubt for the match due to a thigh problem, opened the scoring in the 50th minute and then doubled his side's lead with a penalty seven minutes from time.
Jovetic might have been celebrating a hat-trick in the final minute after Fiorentina had won another penalty, but centre-back Gonzalo Rodríguez took over spot-kick duties and confidently converted.
Vincenzo Montella's men, who have now scored 24 goals in their last eight Serie A matches, were full value for their win and the only surprise was that it took them until the second half to open the scoring after dominating the first period.
Luca Toni and Jovetic both twice came close to opening the scoring for the visitors in the opening 25 minutes before Borja Valero was denied by a superb save from Palermo goalkeeper Samir Ujkani, who also did well to snatch the ball away from Toni's feet just before half-time.
Palermo's only real effort of note before the break saw Luigi Giorgi's 30-yard effort whistle just wide of the post.
Fiorentina finally made the breakthrough five minutes after the restart when a superb pass from Juan Cuadrado picked out the unmarked Jovetic inside the area and the highly-rated Montenegro international fired a low shot past Ujkani.
The Viola quickly went in search of a second but Toni spurned a good opportunity before Ujkani kept out efforts from Jovetic and David Pizarro.
With Palermo still firing blanks at the other end - Fabrizio Miccoli and Edgar Barreto both failing to hit the target with shots - Fiorentina rarely looked in danger of surrendering their lead, but they would have still wanted a second goal to kill the game off.
That eventually came in the 83rd minute when Toni was brought down by Massimo Donati inside the area and Jovetic slotted home the resulting penalty.
A potential hat-trick looked there for the taking for the 23-year-old forward when the Viola earned another penalty in the 89th minute following a handball by Michel Morganella, but it was Gonzalo who took the kick instead and he slotted home a convincing finish to make it 3-0.