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Italy - Coppa Italia
February 11, 2014
• Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze
Referee: D. Massa
• Attendance: 30000
M. Pasqual 14'
J. Cuadrado 61'
Fiorentina win Aggregate 3 - 2
That's it from me, see you guys next time. Thanks for joining me!
What an insane ending to the game, as Fiorentina hold on to clinch a narrow 2-0 win on the night, and 3-2 on aggregate to take their place in the Coppa Italia final. The Viola were second best for large spells, but a pair of goals of top quality from Pasqual and Cuadrado did the damage. Neto saved their bacon late on with a save, as Udinese will be kicking themselves as to how they did not get on the scoresheet. It will be Fiorentina versus either Roma or Napoli in the final.
90' + 7'
Red Card Maurizio Domizzi
90' + 7'
THAT'S IT! FIORENTINA SEE IT THROUGH!
90' + 7'
Domizzi has been sent off for mouthing off one too many times, and there may finally be the end of Udinese's hopes! Crazy end to the game!
90' + 6'
NETO SAVES FIORENTINA! Oh my word, WHAT A SAVE! The one man that Udinese would have wanted on goal, Muriel, breaks through, but his finish is parried onto the bar! Neto recovers, and manages to smother Lopez's rebound to boot! Game changer!
90' + 5'
Yellow Card Muriel
90' + 5'
Pasqual with a CRUCIAL tackle on Lopez, who seemed set to poke in at the far post! Confusion reigns as Udinese do not get a corner that looked a certainty. Muriel gets booked, but replays show that the the officials were right on point, as Lopez was offside!
90' + 4'
Red Card Badu
90' + 4'
Something is amiss in the technical areas, and it seems that Badu, warming up on the sidelines, has been sent off! Extraordinary!
90' + 3'
Cuadrado takes one step too far, clambering all over Allan, and getting booked straight away. He will now miss the final should Fiorentina see out the remaining minutes, and that may be a crucial moment for the Viola.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Juan Cuadrado
90' + 2'
Off goes Silva and on comes Yebda, who may be remembered by EPL fans as a part of the Portsmouth team that made the 2010 FA Cup final.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
There will be SIX additional minutes here to end the game, an announcement that is greeted with howls from the crowd.
Clash of heads here halts play for a second, and Pasqual is of course involved. More little incidents to break up play as time is slowly getting away from the Zebrette.
Getting very panicky at the back for Fiorentina now, as anywhere will do! Joaquin meanwhile is set to depart for Juan Manuel Vargas. The Spaniard, though not omnipresent throughout, made his mark with a lovely cushioned header for Pasqual's opener.
Fernandes whips in a hazardous ball into the box. Muriel is in there angling to make contact, but it goes out to Silva at the far post, who tries to engineer a penalty against Cuadrado. There was some contact, but his overzealous attempts to sell it to the referee worked against him. No foul.
Domizzi gets his name taken in the referee's notebook for a foul on Cuadrado. The Colombian is so good at winning free kicks, and his overreaction to the challenge convinces the referee to issue the Udinese man with a booking.
Yellow Card Maurizio Domizzi
Cuadrado, with a rapid display of control, keeps the ball away from one man and cleverly wins a free kick off the second player to come in, earning his side a vital respite in the opposition half.
Well, Di Natale has been substituted for Nico Lopez, and the odds of him leading the Zebrette to a trophy before his expected retirement at the end of the season are no longer in his hands. Bold move from Guidolin.
Fiorentina have been to the Coppa Italia final 10 times, emerging victorious in six of those encounters. Udinese, by contrast have never won the competition.
Antonio Di Natale
Montella has shifted his troops into a 4-5-1 formation now, with two deep banks of four and five each congesting the space in front of their box. All attacking impetus has been abandoned and really, it's an invitation for Udinese to lay siege to Neto's goal for the last stretch.
Fiorentina wasting time at every opportunity now, as Joaquin milks a foul for all it's worth. The Udinese players are not happy, and there are some whistles audible from the away support.
Just about a quarter of an hour to go, and remember, one goal from Udinese throws this tie right back into the blender. In fact, should the visitors score, extra time would beckon, given the scoreline from the first leg.
Compper puts a strong challenge in on Widmer as he looks to break down the right flank, but the referee sees nothing wrong with it and allows play to continue.
WELL OVER!! Udinese win a free kick after Joaquin puts a clumsy challenge in on Muriel. Di Natale stands over it but rather than shoot from 30 yards he slides a pass across to Fernandes. He sets himself with a touch and then fires a wayward effort well off target.
Brilliant work from Widmer! The energetic wing-back beats two men on the near side and attempts to put a cross into the box. However, he sends it too close to Neto and the Brazilian is able to gather the ball.
The Viola are now happy to let the opposition hold onto the ball a lot more, with Joaquin and Cuadrado chipping in defensively.
The second goal doesn't really change too much for Udinese, they still need to find a goal tonight to have any hope of reaching the final.
Udinese come straight back at Fiorentina and have a great chance to find the back of the net but Di Natale sends a header wide from close range. The striker ought to have done better there.
Assist David Pizarro
Goal Juan Cuadrado
GOOOOOOAAL!! Fiorentina break as Pizarro picks out Cuadrado on the right with a sublime pass from the middle of his own half. The Colombian bares down on goal and has two team-mates in support, but from 20 yards out he lashes an absolute rocket off the the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Yellow Card Alberto Aquilani
Well Fiorentina have fared fairly well for the initial stages of the second half. they look more secure at the back, and are set up more to frustrate the Zebrette, who continue to push forward for the goal they so desperately need.
Fiorentina preparing a substitution here, and it looks like Matri will depart for Ryder. Udinese also use the opportunity to swap Pinzi and bring on that man Muriel. Could be a key moment in the tie, the introduction of the prolific Colombian.
Cuadrado dribbles himself into space deep in the opposition half, and nearly catches Fernandez by surprise with a layoff! The Chilean adjusts himself well to get a shot away, but it's got no power or purpose on it, and is right at Scuffet, who saves easily.
Udinese still running with three at the back, and indeed, it was the overloading in midfield which was responsible for their dominance in the second part of the opening half. Going to be interesting to see how Fiorentina cope as the half wears on.
Scuffet is forced to adjust himself om the fly, after Matri lashed Aquilani's ball towards goal, which takes a wicked deflection! It was a good stop from the keeper, who got a big, strong hand on the effort.
Decent start to the second half from the Viola, as Cuadrado is nearly released towards the byeline as the Udinese defence fell asleep. No doubt that Montella had some strong words for his side during the half time interval.
GREAT SAVE!! Aquilani's deflected cross bounces into the path of Joaquin and he drives a low shot towards goal. The effort takes a nick off of Danilo but Scuffet keeps his eye on it and gets down at his near post to parry it away from danger.
Fiorentina get us restarted.
We are back underway in Florence!
Well, it looks like Fiorentina have survived the onslaught for now, and they will grab the interval gratefully with both hands. The home side controlled the initial exchanges and took the lead in the tie through Pasqual after 15 minutes, but Udinese hit back with a slew of chances - Di Natale hitting the woodwork with the pick of the bunch. This tie is FAR from over. Stay tuned for the restart in just a bit.
Half time folks, after exactly one second of injury time.
Savic wins a free kick after a challenge from Fernandes, and it's a bit of petulance from the Fiorentina man, who aims a little lash out in the latter's direction. The referee again lets the incident slide, awarding nothing more than the original free kick. Getting a bit testy towards the end of the half!
Pinzi gets away with a quite embarrassing bit of play acting, going down in agony clutching his face after an innocuous bit of contact from Pasqual. The goalscorer fervently protests his innocence, and the referee seems content with just awarding the foul. Very unfair if Pasqual had gotten a yellow for that one.
Scuffet, who has been looking bored in the past quarter of an hour, is suddenly called into action to beat away a bending attempt from Joaquin, who struck from the corner of the box. Good reactions from the keeper, and a bit better from Fiorentina.
Di Natale, after a lethargic start, has really began to stamp his authority on the game. He showcases typically outstanding technique to bring down a high ball, but is rushed frantically by two defenders before he can get a shot away!
Very pensive look on Montella's face, as he watches his side struggle to even get on the ball. What happened to the confident Viola from the opening quarter of an hour? I'd not begrudge Udinese a goal before the break, it's been that one sided recently.
OH SO CLOSE! Di Natale is shaking his head in disbelief as a free header inside the six yard box cannons back off the woodwork with Neto rooted to the spot, praying that it missed! Well his wish came through as Fiorentina escape that one, but they're really riding their luck at the moment!
This has been an incredibly positive reaction from Udinese since conceding. They have been absolutely dominant for the last ten minutes or so, keeping the home side squarely on the ropes and penned around their box. A lot of nervousness emanating from the stands.
NETO AGAIN! Another brilliant reaction from the Fiorentina stopper, who got down low to parry Domizzi's thumping header from the resulting corner! The defence scramble clear the ball before the rebound can be lapped up!
Neto pulls off a SPLENDID save! Di Natale manages to flick a ball towards the far post, and the shot did not appear to be on, but Silva still rattles one towards goal from a tight angle! He connects well, but Neto reacts instantly to push it around the post!
A simply fabulous piece of interplay between Pereyra and Di Natale sees the latter played into space inside the box with a target to aim at! He makes the right choice, attempting to bend it into the top corner, but it goes AGONIZINGLY over the top of the bar! What a chance!
The Zebrette defence keeps backing off and backing off against Fernandez on the ball, and the diminutive playmaker accepts the invite and, when 20 yards from goal, has a crack! He doesn't score, but that was too easy for the hosts!
Neto makes a right hash of a seemingly routine cross, and Udinese nearly profit via Fernandes. The defence gets their body in the way of the ball, but a glimpse at a chink in the armor there for Udinese to exploit further?
Di Natale is 36 years young, but you wouldn't guess it based on what he just pulled off. A seemingly hopeless ball into the box appears to be too far behind him, but he contorts his body impressively to loop a header in towards goal. It bobbles comfortably wide of the target, but that's better from the visitors.
Unlike the first leg, Udinese have no advantage to sit on. At some point, they're going to have to attack the Viola, because Pasqual's goal will put them out of the competition on away goals - if the score holds. With the way that the game has been shaping up though, I won't bet on that happening.
Di Natale has not been able to get into stride so far, save for that one earlier ball for Fernandes' half chance. As time has progressed, Fiorentina have become increasingly dominant, mirroring the passage of play from the first leg.
Udinese have to be careful now to keep their shape and their concentration, as Fiorentina come right at them again to push home their momentum! However, a good run by Joaquin is ruined when Matri fouls his man - not for the first time.
Goal Manuel Pasqual
FIORENTINA STRIKE FIRST! That was a SUPERB finish from Pasqual! A long ball into the box is headed back magnificently by Joaquin from the byeline to the middle of the area. Pasquale needs no second invitation, and angles his body superbly to smash a volley high into the net!
Heurtaux overcooks a ball towards the far post and Di Natale cannot get anywhere near it. The full back of course was the difference in the league meeting between the two sides earlier in the season.
Fiorentina attempt to go diagonal and long with a raking ball towards Matri in the box. He spots Fernandez angling at the top of the box for the cutback, but under pressure from two players, cannot sort his feet out in time.
A real encouraging tempo developing to this contest now. The early jitters seem to have been ironed out, and both teams show a willingness to attack in numbers when they get on the ball. I might give the slightest edge to Fiorentina so far, but it's been positive from Udinese as well.
Cuadrado is always dangerous when he gets on the ball, and Allan is acutely aware of the wide man's threat on the dribble. He times a tackle perfectly to slide the ball away from the Colombian, but comes off worse for wear, taking a trailing leg in the gut for his troubles. No malice, and after a brief pause, he's back on his feet.
Fernandes forces the first corner of the evening, but that initial delivery does not amount to anything. However, Di Natale is on the next ball in, and whips in a devilish delivery that Fernandes makes good contact with, but cannot steer on target!
Neither side seem comfortable with holding onto the ball for any extended period of time, as we see careless giveaways from Matri and Allan to contribute to the jerky nature of this game. Still very much early days there, both teams are feeling each other out.
Udinese get us underway.
Our referee tonight is Davide Massa, who brandished five yellows during Napoli's win against Milan over the weekend. With many players walking a suspension tightrope for the final, we may see a hesitant start to the match.
The Zebrette have knocked out both Milan clubs en route to tonight's fixture, and are set up to emulate the events of the first leg, where they were dominated for large spells yet completed the smash and grab victory. The message from Guidolin seems to be what we have, we hold. Interesting to see how it will play out if they concede early.
Tonight's visitors hold a slender 2-1 advantage from the first leg, thanks to Muriel and Di Natale's goals either side of an effort from Juan Manuel Vargas. That away goal from the Peruvian may be key though, especially with the Viola set out to attack tonight.
Francesco Guidolin sees a trio of players return from suspension, with Allan, Giampiero Pinzi and Danilo all starting after serving their respective bans. However, Luis Muriel, gamewinner from the last round, will not start. Instead, Antonio Di Natale is chosen to lead the line.
Massimo Ambrosini is injured, but Alberto Aquilani shakes off a minor knock to start in midfield for the home side alongside David Pizarro, with Mati Fernandez just ahead of them in the number 10 role. It's a broad attacking 4-3-3 from Vincenzo Montella, who plays Alessandro Matri up front, flanked by Juan Cuadrado and Joaquin.
UDINESE (3-4-2-1): Scuffet; Heurtaux, Danilo, Domizzi; Widmer, Pinzi, Allan, Gabriel Silva; Fernandes, Pereyra; Di Natale.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Neto; Diakite, Rodriguez, Savic, Pasqual; Pizarro, Aquilani, Mati Fernandez; Cuadrado, Joaquin, Matri.
Hello and welcome to the second leg of what is a finely poised Coppa Italia semi final tie between Fiorentina and Udinese. My name is Keeghann Sinanan and I'll be your guide this evening.
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