2014/2015 Italian Serie A
  • Josip Ilicic (31' PEN, 35')
  • Alberto Gilardino (56')
  • Alejandro Rodriguez (59')

Fiorentina 3-1 Cesena

Josip Ilicic struck twice in the first half as Fiorentina halted a four-match losing streak in Serie A with a 3-1 home victory over strugglers Cesena.
The Slovenian forward opened the scoring in the 31st minute from the penalty spot after Cesena's Gaby Mudingayi brought down Borja Valero and then added his second of the afternoon four minutes later.
Alberto Gilardino made it 3-0 nine minutes after half-time before Cesena forward Alejandro Rodriguez reduced the arrears before the hour.
The outcome in Florence has lifted Fiorentina above Sampdoria and into fifth place in the standings.
The defeat, Cesena's 18th of the campaign, has left them in 19th position, nine points adrift of safety with just four games remaining.
Cesena went into the contest looking for their first win since March 1 but it was the Viola that had the first sight at goal.
Fiorentina, who had fallen 3-2 at Juventus in midweek, sent in a 17th-minute warning when Juan Vargas' long-range attempt forced Cesena goalkeeper Federico Agliardi to make his first save of the day.
Shortly after, Agliardi had to stretch to clear Milan Badelj's 30-yard strike towards the far post.
On 30 minutes, the referee pointed to the spot when Valero drew contact from Mudingayi.
Ilicic made no mistake and struck a diagonal shot past a helpless Agliardi to put Fiorentina in front.
Fiorentina doubled their lead when Ilicic got past his marker and drilled a right-footed shot from the heart of the area towards the bottom right corner of goal to beat Agliardi.
On the stroke of half-time, Agliardi denied Fiorentina their third when he kept out Mohamed Salah's powerful 15-yard volley.
Salah proved dangerous once again when play resumed with his left-footed attempt from 12 yards kept out with a fine save from Agliardi.
Agliardi, though, could do nothing shortly after when Jasmin Kurtic's cross found Gilardino in the box and the veteran striker's right-footed shot found the bottom right corner of goal.
Cesena pulled one back three minutes later.
Rodriguez got past his marker and drilled a right-footed shot from 25 yards to stun Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Neto.
Cesena continued to fight but failed to test Neto for the rest of the match.