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Ribery masterclass helps Fiorentina stun AC Milan and leaves Giampaolo on the ropes

Marco Giampaolo suffered another demoralising defeat as the Rossoneri were completely outclassed.

Franck Ribery celebrates for Fiorentina.
Franck Ribery celebrates for Fiorentina.

FRANCK RIBERY STARRED as Fiorentina piled more misery on the under-fire Marco Giampaolo with an emphatic 3-1 victory over sorry 10-man AC Milan.

Giampaolo is only six Serie A games into his Rossoneri tenure but a fourth league defeat in a lifeless performance will do little to quieten rumours his position is already under threat. 

The hosts trailed at the break thanks to Erick Pulgar’s penalty and Mateo Musacchio’s dismissal for a poor challenge on the sublime Ribery severely hit Milan’s chances of salvaging a result. 

Gaetano Castrovilli scored a first Serie A goal to ensure the game was up for Milan and possibly Giampaolo, while a saved Federico Chiesa penalty preceded a deserved goal for Ribery and a Rafael Leao consolation late on.

Fiorentina threatened first when Ribery teed up Chiesa for a first-time shot that almost squirmed under Gianluigi Donnarumma, who eventually saved with his head.

It was Ribery’s brilliance that led to the opener. The veteran’s quick feet flummoxed Musacchio and, although his one-on-one shot was saved, Ismael Bennacer tripped Chiesa on the follow-up.

Pulgar clinically found the bottom-right corner from 12 yards and Milan were fortunate not to go two behind when Castrovilli’s goal was ruled out, as Chiesa needlessly strayed offside.

The situation worsened 10 minutes into the second half when Musacchio was sent off – via a VAR review – for a rash, high-studs lunge on Ribery.

Fiorentina then doubled their lead through Castrovilli, who smashed home after Donnarumma could only parry Chiesa’s cross.

Donnarumma ensured another reckless Bennacer challenge, this time on Castrovilli, was not punished as he saved Chiesa’s spot kick.

But Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella celebrated a resounding three points against his former club when Ribery twisted and turned before drilling into the bottom-left corner, Leao’s excellent solo effort to open his Milan account doing little to sour the visitors’ delight.

Elsewhere, Napoli got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory against Brescia.

All the Italian teams in European action this week warmed up with wins with Napoli seeing off promoted Brescia despite Mario Balotelli scoring his first goal for the newcomers.

First-half goals from Dries Mertens and Kostas Manolas ensured Napoli took all three points after their midweek loss to Cagliari, to boost their confidence ahead of a Champions League trip to Belgian club Genk.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side stay fourth with 12 points from six games, six behind league leaders Inter Milan who beat Sampdoria 3-1 on Saturday, before they play Barcelona in Europe.

Inter have a maximum 18 points from six games — two ahead of Juve — after winning their first six league matches for the first time since the 1966-67 season.

Champions Juventus beat SPAL 2-0 to stay second with Atalanta third — a point ahead of Napoli — after thrashing Sassuolo 4-1 on Saturday.

Juve play Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday with Atalanta’s first ever Champions League home game against Shakhtar Donetsk.

- Reporting from OmniSport and AFP.

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