Soccer

Fiorentina end Inter Milan's unbeaten start to Serie A

Fiorentina's Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A football match between Inter Milan and Fiorentina at the San Siro Stadium in Milan on September 27, 2015 . AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Fiorentina's Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A football match between Inter Milan and Fiorentina at the San Siro Stadium in Milan on September 27, 2015 . AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Nikola Kalinic scored a hat-trick as Fiorentina thumped 10-man Inter Milan 4-1 on Sunday to join the Nerazzurri at the top of the Serie A standings.

Inter went into the contest at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium with five wins in as many league games but they trailed 3-0 after just 23 minutes.

Kalinic won a penalty, converted by Josip Ilicic, and had made it 3-0 before Inter defender Miranda was sent off in the 31st minute for bringing him down and denying a goalscoring opportunity.

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Mauro Icardi reduced the deficit on the hour but Kalinic had the final word with 14 minutes to go.

Goalkeeper Samir Handanovic endured a disappointing night for Inter, guilty of giving away the penalty and then failing to hold Ilicic's long-range effort to hand Kalinic an easy finish for the second.

The bad news began for Inter during the warm-up, when top scorer Stefan Jovetic had to withdraw with an injury.

Things then got worse as Handanovic failed to control Gary Medel's back-pass and Kalinic stole the ball before being brought down by the Inter keeper in the area.

Handanovic guessed the direction of the spot-kick correctly but could not get a touch on Ilicic's left-footed shot inside the far post.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 18th minute when the goalkeeper could only push Ilicic's powerful shot into the path of Kalinic.

Inter, who had only conceded one goal in their opening five games, were 3-0 down five minutes later.

Marcos Alonso's cross found Kalinic in the box and his right-footed shot towards the far post beat Handanovic.

Miranda was then given his marching orders and Inter went into the break facing an uphill battle.

Fiorentina dominated possession after the re-start but Inter found the net against the run of play.

Icardi's header from Alex Telles' free-kick rebounded off the left-post and the Argentinian made no mistake, driving home the rebound.

But any faint hopes of an Inter comeback where effectively killed by Kalinic when he scored his third goal.

Ilicic set up Kalinic in the heart of the area and the Croatian striker drilled a right-footed shot past a helpless Handanovic.

The win, Fiorentina's fifth of the campaign, has lifted the Viola to the top of the standings, level with Inter on 15 points.