ACF Fiorentina moved within sight of the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with an entertaining victory against Debreceni VSC.
Although Gergely Rudolf gave the visitors brief hope by cancelling out Adrian Mutu's opener, Cesare Prandelli's men ran amok in the second half. Marco Marchionni, Riccardo Montolivo, Dario Dainelli and Alberto Gilardino all found the net to take the Serie A side second in Group E, a point behind Olympique Lyonnais who drew 1-1 with Liverpool FC. While Fiorentina and Debrecen had traded seven goals in Budapest two weeks before, it was difficult to envisage a similar scenario here at half-time, but inspired by substitute Montolivo, the Viola emerged with new purpose and even Adamo Coulibaly, whose header made it 4-2, was denied the final word.
Visiting coach András Herczeg had decided to pack his midfield yet it did not take Fiorentina long to breach the Hungarian champions' defences. Mutu had his first shot on target within five minutes after dancing past Luis Ramos and Ádám Komlósi. The Romanian's effort was blocked, but from the resulting corner Manuel Pasqual picked out Dainelli who headed just wide; Komlósi also went down with a head injury that prompted his substitution.
The hosts sensed confusion in Debrecen's ranks and began to test their guests down the flanks. Juan Vargas fired a warning after skilfully chesting down Zoltán Szélesi's clearance and shooting first time from 20 metres. That attempt may have flown centimetres wide but moments later Fiorentina were ahead. Marco Donadel released Marchionni down the right and the winger crossed invitingly for Mutu, who nodded at full stretch past Djordje Pantić.
Although the away team created half-chances on the break, with Rudolf and Péter Czvitkovics troubling Vlada Avramov, Fiorentina's goalkeeper was enjoying a quiet competition debut until Debrecen equalised. Pantić had just watched Gilardino's looping header from a Vargas corner clip the top of the bar when Debrecen surged forward down the left. Leandro sent over a deep cross and Rudolf evaded Per Krøldrup to steer in at the far post.
The equaliser forced Fiorentina to up the tempo and Gilardino soon elicited a fine stop from Pantić on the turn. The Italy striker threatened again shortly after the restart, directing Pasqual's assist over before teeing up Mutu, whose shot was saved, with a clever back-heel. As the Tuscan outfit turned the screw, Montolivo's strike from distance was again kept out by Pantić, yet the sustained spell of pressure told when Dainelli leapt to head in Gianluca Comotto's cross.
Fiorentina now had the bit between their teeth and netted twice more in the space of three minutes. Montolivo arrived unmarked at the far post to connect with Vargas's dangerous delivery, and with Debrecen exposed Marchionni stole in to score following a quick exchange between Mutu and Gilardino. Not to be completely undone, Debrecen gave themselves hope on 70 minutes, Coulibaly heading in Péter Szakály's centre. However, Gilardino restored the three-goal cushion within four minutes, glancing in a Vargas free-kick to round off a highly enjoyable evening for the Viola.