Gervinho wins it late for Roma in a thrilling encounter against Napoli.

Last seasons finalists Roma have secured 1-0 wins over Sampdoria and Serie A leaders Juventus on route to the semi’s. Napoli have defeated Atalanta and Roma’s rivals Lazio on their way to the semi’s. Napoli last won the Coppa Italia in the 2011/2012 season, while Roma last won the competition in the 2007/2008, despite making the final twice since then. Both clubs will be desperate for silverware.

Roma celebrate Strootman's stunning goal.

Roma celebrate Strootman’s stunning goal.

Napoli settled into the game quickly and they managed to create the first bit of threatening play. Insigne whipped in a dangerous cross, sadly for him and the lurking Hamšík, De Rossi was at the back and cleared the danger.

Despite Napoli being on top it was Roma that took the lead and in fantastic style as well. Out of nowhere Totti produced a glorious pass through to Gervinho who was bombing forward. The Ivorian delightfully chipped the ball past Reina and he had an easy tap in. This sparked Roma into life.

Totti produced a powerful effort when he was allowed to have a go from distance, the Roma captain stinging the hands of Reina.

Napoli had a couple of chances after that. Higuaín heavily involved for Napoli, his cross was cleared by Roma but only to İnler who was waiting on the edge of the area. However the midfielder couldn’t produce the goods as he fired well over. Higuaín produced another cross soon after, this time his quality cross flashed across the goalmouth and Callejón wasn’t far off making contact.

Roma doubled their lead in the 32nd minute, Strootman had time and space to unleash a sensational strike which flew into the top corner. Napoli’s Reina didn’t stand a chance with the unstoppable effort.

Napoli continued to let Roma try their luck from range and next up was Nainggolan, the Belgian could only send his effort over. Gervinho made another good run down the right, Albiol managed to hold him up but Gervinho managed to set the ball to Maicon, the Brazilian could only hit the side netting from close range.

Napoli had a late penalty appeal. Maggio controlled the ball with his chest and the touch put him past Torosidis before De Sanctis came out to save. Maggio wasn’t happy and strongly felt he should have had a penalty. However he didn’t have a case.

Napoli couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the second half. Insigne played a fantastic pass through to Higuaín who’s cross took a deflection off Benatia and De Sanctis fumbled the ball before it crept in.

Roma’s Ljajić then had three chances which went close. Firstly he picked up the ball after Maggio kicked the ball against his own player, Ljajić’s powerful driving effort forced Reina into a good save to his right. His second effort was from a similar position, this time it was just wide of Reina’s post. His last effort came after he took the ball past Maggio and tried sneaking the ball past Reina at his near post.

From a Napoli corner Insigne tried his luck after taking the ball past Benatia. His curling effort forced De Sanctis into a save but it was rather comfortable for the Roma keeper.

Torosidis came close after playing a one-two with Gervinho on the left. The leftback’s curling shot was heading for the top corner before Reina saved, holding the ball well. Soon after Gervinho managed to just escape the offside flag and his pass was just ahead of Totti.

Napoli drew level in the 70th minute. Higuaín was fouled but Mauro Bergonzi allowed play to continue as Mertens picked up the ball, the Belgian breezed past Castan and fired past De Sanctis.

Roma looked for a winning goal but it was obvious they were shocked by Napoli’s comeback. Both teams failed to muster up enough quality after Mertens leveler, that was until Florenzi played a lovely one-two with fellow substitute, Destro and Florenzi then played a terrific pass through to Gervinho. The Ivorian took a touch before smashing the ball past a helpless Reina, unleashing brilliant scenes as the Roma fans erupted.

Napoli pushed to get level once again but it wasn’t to be. Their best effort came from Ghoulam, who’s struck a venomous long distance freekick, forcing De Santis to parry the ball out for a corner.

Gervinho’s outstanding display and 87th minute winner was enough for a Roma win. Once again the Coppa Italia didn’t disappoint, fantastic game of football and some fabulous goals. The second leg at the Stadio San Paolo shouldn’t disappoint.


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