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February 12, 2014
• Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
Referee: G. Rocchi
• Attendance: 40000
José Callejón 33'
G. Higuaín 48'
Napoli win Aggregate 5 - 3
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. Enjoy the rest of your night.
It is certainly sets up an exciting finale, one which I will certainly be looking forward to. Roma will have to pick themselves up and focus their attempts to win silverware solely on Serie A for the remainder of the season, but the Partenopei know they are one game away from silverware elsewhere.
FULL TIME - Napoli 3-0 Roma (5-3 agg): The Partenopei overturn the first-leg deficit thanks to goals from Callejon, Higuain and Jorginho. It was a formidable performance from Rafa Benitez's side at the San Paolo as they ensure the Giallorossi's Coppa Italia disappointment continues. Next up, Fiorentina in May's final.
90' + 3'
THERE IT IS! THE FINAL WHISTLE AND NAPOLI ARE THROUGH TO THE FINAL!
90' + 1'
We are into the first of an additional three minutes.
Roma look to have given up now as a rather aimless long ball runs out behind the goal for a goal kick. Rudi Garcia's men have been far from their best tonight, but Napoli's clinical finishing has proved the difference.
Napoli are just a few moments away from reaching their fifth Coppa Italia final. Fiorentina await them, and the Partenopei have a 100 per cent record in the showpiece, having won on all four of their previous appearances.
CLOSE!! Insigne skips past Benatia to move inside the area. He has Callejon available at the back post but he opts to go for goal and his shot is deflected over the top. Rather than berate his team-mate, Callejon applauds the young Italian's efforts.
Yellow Card Leandro Castán
Dissent is becoming endemic in the Roma ranks now as Castan picks up a booking for a ridiculously needless challenge.
On comes Insigne for the last few moments. The forward has struggled for form this season but impressed against Milan at the weekend. Will he make an exciting cameo here?
That dismissal surely puts an end to Roma's hopes of a comeback. Napoli are now holding onto the ball with every single pass being cheered by the home fans. Perhaps they will try and get another one in these closing stages.
Red Card Kevin Strootman
STROOTMAN IS OFF! The midfielder is dismissed after being shown two yellow cards in quick succession. The first for a shirt pull which sent Callejon to ground, and the second for kicking the ball at the Spaniard in the aftermath and sarcastic applauding the decision to award a free kick.
Yellow Card Kevin Strootman
The whistles ring out around the San Paolo as Roma knock the ball about with Napoli penned back in their own half. They work possession across the pitch looking for an opening but none presents itself and the visitors eventually steal the ball away.
Time is quickly running out for Roma, however a goal here would certainly set up an extremely tense final 15 minutes. Destro has the chance to do just that after being picked out by De Rossi, but after some quality control he smashes a shot over the top of the target. Poor finishing.
Yellow Card José Callejón
Too high for Hamsik! Maicon leaves a gaping hole at the back which Hamsik saunters into, but he has to stretch too much to connect with Maggio's cross and loops his header over the roof of the goal.
Strootman flights the ball into the area from deep but he puts it too close to Reina, who vacates his line to claim the delivery. Roma are falling short of ideas here and are becoming less and less coherent in the final third.
The referee forces De Rossi to leave the field due to a huge rip dount the front of his shirt which was caused by an opponent moments before. So, Roma are penalised for an offence which was missed by the officials.
Napoli appear comfortable to allow Roma more time on the ball in these closing stages. So far they have created very little with the additional possession, even with the introduction of Totti.
Super tracking from Callejon! The Spaniard saw his volley from the edge of the box blocked and chased all the way back to stop Maicon from galloping into space from which to supply a cross. Roma do eventually work it into Strootman, though, but rather than shoot when he has the chance he opts to pass and he fails to pull it off.
Ghoulam intercepts a pass which would have put Gervinho through one-on-one but he can only clear it as far as Totti. The veteran forward fires a shot at goal but it is deflected over the top of goal for a corner kick.
Will Giallorossi icon Totti be able to inspire a miraculous comeback for the visitors tonight? It seems that may be beyond even his reach this evening, but stranger things have certainly happened.
STAT: Roma are the joint-most successful side in Coppa Italia history alongside Juventus, having lifted the trophy an impressive nine times. Napoli, who won the title as recently in the 2011-12 season, have gone all the way on four separate occasions.
DESTRO!! SO CLOSE! Gervinho rolls the ball back from the byeline for Maicon to whip it in from the right. He picks out Destro inside the box but the striker's header shades the outside of the post with Reina scrambling.
Roma have 30 minutes in which to score two goals to force extra time. They also need to ensure that Napoli do not add to their tally while they do that. A tough ask for Garcia's men.
SO CLOSE! Pjanic whips the free kick from the corner of the box towards Reina's near post. The keeper gets a hand to it to divert it over the top, but the officials clearly miss that as a goal kick is awarded.
Yellow Card Christian Maggio
The hosts are awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal in a central position and this time it is Ghoulam who takes it. The Algerian blasts his attempt miles off target and Roma eventually work the ball down the other end and win a free kick as Bastos is brought down just outside the box by Maggio.
Awful from Gervinho! The Ivorian is presented with a great chance to test the keeper from Strootman's looped ball over the top but he lashes it high and wide beyond the goal. A truly dreadful attempt.
ROMA HAVE ONE BACK... no, it has been ruled out! A free kick from the near side is flicked on by Pjanic and Strootman guides a header into the bottom corner. However, the assistant referee has his flag raised to show that the Dutch midfielder did so from an offside position.
Assist Dries Mertens
GOOOOOOOOOAL!! Mertens is shown inside by Maicon and he capitalises, threading a pass through the defence for the diagonal run of Jorginho. The Brazilian shows great composure to dink a shot past De Sanctis and into the far corner. What a signing, what a finish!
Torosidis has now been hauled off by Garcia, with Maicon entering the fray. The Greek has been at fault for both of the Roma goals this evening and his manager clearly isn't happy.
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
GOOOOOOOAL!! HIGUAIN MAKES IT TWO! A corner is flicked on at the near post and Higuain darts away from Torosidis to nod home at the back post. Maradona celebrates fervently in the stands! Napoli are truly in control of this tie now.
VITAL SAVE! A sublime exchange of passes between Higuain and Callejon culminates with the former backheeling a pass to the latter, but his scuffed effort is just about clawed away by De Sanctis.
Roma get the second half underway!
Welcome back! The second half is about to get underway, and we even caught a glimpse of Diego Maradona inside the stadium during the break.
So, Roma know they need to score if they are to reach the Coppa Italia final for the second successive season. That means we should be in for another brilliant 45 minutes. Be sure to join me for it after this quick break!
HALF TIME - Napoli 1-0 Roma (agg 3-3): The Partenopei narrowly lead the tie at the break due to the two away goals scored at the Stadio Olimpico. It was a great header from Callejon which has given them the lead, but it could have been so different had Destro tucked away a great chance in the third minute.
45' + 1'
The Pjanic-Ljajic combination comes close to putting the latter through on goal but Albiol intercepts and the referee blows for half time.
Just one added minute to be played at the end of this first half.
Great work from Gervinho, with an exquisite initial touch taking him between two Napoli players and putting him into space on the left. He carried it all the way to the byeline but his cross was far too deep and Ljajic was unable to keep it in play.
The Giallorossi are struggling to keep hold of possession now. It seems that every time they look to send it long, the ball falls to a Napoli player. De Sanctis' distribution has been rather sloppy so far.
Roma are struggling here! Higuain drifts out to the left and sends a teasing cross into the box. Hamsik fails to connect at the near post and Bastos attempts to deal with it by controlling the ball with his chest. De Sanctis steps out to claim it but the flustered Brazilian hooks it away.
WASTED! More lovely interplay between Pjanic and Ljajic but the latter's attempt at goal is sent straight at the feet of Reina by his near post. The Serbian appears to have left his shooting boots in the dressing room.
CHEEKY! A quick break from the Partenopei puts Hamsik through in space and he goes for an audacious chip from in excess of 35 yards. It has De Sanctis backpedalling but it lacks the required dip to worry the keeper, who nevertheless ends up diving into the back of his own net.
It was hugely important for the hosts to open the scoring this evening, and Napoli will only grow in confidence following that goal. Roma have no option but to attack, and that could leave spaces at the back which the likes of Callejon and Higuain can only thrive in.
Assist Christian Maggio
Goal José Callejón
GOOOOOOOOAL!! NAPOLI TAKE THE LEAD IN THE TIE! An absolutely exquisite cross from Maggio is bent in from the right and Callejon, who is not picked up by Torosidis, guides a powerful header past De Sanctis. Roma must score now.
Gervinho again proving dangerous as he shuffles away from Ghoulam and clips a cross into the box. De Rossi rises to get his head on it, looping the ball into the air. Destro spins away from his marker to try and get on the end of it but Reina claims it before he can get close.
Pjanic has been excellent so far tonight. The Bosnian wizard has been at the heart of everything positive for the visitors and he was agonisingly close to putting Gervinho through on goal there, but the winger's touch let him down at the vital moment.
Smoke has drifted across the pitch as the flares are ignited in the stands. Plenty of fireworks on the pitch so far too!
De Rossi gallops forward from deep and lays the ball off for Strootman inside the Napoli half. The Dutchman slides a great through-ball up towards Destro but Reina races off of his line and clears away the danger. Great awareness from the keeper.
WHAT A CHANCE!! Pjanic instigates a lovely move with some smart interplay with Ljajic on the right flank. He gets to the byeline before pulling the ball back to Gervinho on the penalty spot. The Ivorian sees his shot blocked en route to goal and Ljajic fires his follow-up over the top. Again, Roma creating the better opportunities despite seeing less of the ball.
JUST WIDE! A poor kick from De Sanctis gives possession straight back to Napoli and Hamsik receives it on the near side. He uses the space created by a run from Callejon to move inside and release a shot at goal, but he is unable to direct it on target and test the keeper.
STAT: Roma have won their last three meetings with Napoli, however all of those have come at the Stadio Olimpico. Their last visit to the San Paolo ended in a 4-1 defeat.
Yellow Card Adem Ljajic
De Sanctis manages to punch a Napoli corner away under intense pressure and Gervinho attempts to punish the hosts on the break. He skips away from three yellow shirts and makes his way up to the opposition area before Inler recovers to regain possession.
Napoli are certainly beginning to take control of this game now, but that chance for Destro in the opening moments remains the closest either side has come to breaking the deadlock. There is no rush for the hosts, though. A 1-0 win would be enough to see them through tonight.
Jorginho is the man given the responsibilty of sending the set play into the danger area but his delivery is woeful, and Bastos nods it away unchallenged.
Yellow Card Mehdi Benatia
Awful challenge! De Rossi passes the ball straight to Mertens in midfield and the Belgian instantly sprints into the Roma half. Benatia comes across to stop the winger but he is second to the ball and only succeeds in sending him tumbling to ground. The referee shows the centre-back a yellow card, but the Napoli players protest that it should maybe have been more.
Bastos pushes up into more familiar territory for the Brazilian, but his cross into the middle is plucked out of the sky by Reina. His deliveries will need to improve if Roma want to unsettle the Spanish keeper.
Strootman makes a powerful run in from the right wing but his decision to try and play Destro through on goal proves to be the wrong one. The striker was on a different wavelength and ended up moving away from the ball, and the Napoli defence comfortably let it run out of play.
Inler again provides the attacking injection through the middle and this time he does pick out Higuain inside the box. The Argentine is quickly set upon by De Rossi, who forces him out of the area before his attempted pass out wide is intercepted and cleared by Bastos.
Good move from Napoli! Hamsik and Inler combine well to move play up towards the edge of the Roma box. The Swiss midfielder shapes to shoot before attempting to feed Higuain with a disguised pass, but it takes a touch off of a Roma shirt and goes out of play for a corner.
Destro positions himself between the two centre-halves but begins his run too early, meaning he is called offside as he brings down Leandro Castan's long ball on the edge of the box. Still, some good early movement from the striker who has replaced club legend Totti this evening.
That is brilliant from Pjanic as he dances away from Hamsik inside his own half and then slips a great pass into De Rossi. This is a very talented midfield trio Roma have in their starting line-up tonight.
Well, there is a break in play now as Reina receives treatments from the medics following a collision during that chance. He is back up and looks set to continue, though Rafael is going through his warm-up routine on the touchline.
WHAT A SAVE!! Ljajic springs the offside trap on the right and rolls a square ball into the box for Destro. The striker connects with it but fails to steer his effort away from Reina, who gets down quickly to block the shot from finding the net. Fernandez was guilty of playing the Serbian onside there.
Hamsik has been very busy already, but he commits a foul in his attempts to dispossess Pjanic on the half-way line. De Rossi clips it long to Destro but the striker fails to jump against his marker to challenge for it.
Just 20 seconds played and De Sanctis is forced into the first save of the game. Hamsik let fly from distance and it took a wicked deflection, however that sapped all the pace from the effort and left the keeper with a simple stop.
We are underway as Napoli get the ball rolling!
Kick off is just a few moments away now. This should be an absolute cracker!
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch now. Both sides wearing alternate strips with Napoli in yellow and Roma in black, just as in the first leg.
The Giallorossi have lost just once, the 3-0 defeat to current Serie A leaders Juventus, in 25 matches in all competitions this season, though. Rudi Garcia's men did get some revenge too, as they dumped the Bianconeri out in the previous round of the Coppa Italia.
The Partenopei, however, have only failed to score once at the San Paolo and that came in their only home defeat of the season as they went down 1-0 to Parma last November. It is certainly very difficult to predict which way this game is going to go.
Roma could book their place in their 18th Coppa Italia final tonight. The Giallorossi were defeated by arch rivals Lazio in last season’s final so they will be desperate to go one better this time around.
Rudi Garcia has a similar issue with both Dodo and Federico Balzaretti injured so Michel Bastos therefore begins the game on the left side of defence. Mattia Destro and Adem Ljajic come into the attack with Francesco Totti and Alessandro Florenzi dropping to the bench. Radja Nainggolan misses out through suspension.
With Juan Zuniga out due to injury and Anthony Reveillere lacking fitness, Faouzi Ghoulam continues at left-back. Still, Rafa Benitez makes just one change to the side which defeated AC Milan 3-1 at the weekend as Lorenzo Insigne is replaced by Jose Callejon.
Roma (4-3-3): De Sanctis; Torosidis, Benatia, Castan, Bastos; Pjanic, De Rossi, Strootman; Ljajic, Destro, Gervinho.
Napoli (4-2-3-1): Reina; Maggio, Fernandez, Albiol, Ghoulam; Inler, Jorginho; Mertens, Hamsik, Callejon; Higuain.
The teams have been announced, so lets see who the two outfits will shape up this evening.
A late Gervinho strike secured that first-leg victory for Rudi Garcia's men at the Stadio Olimpico, but their recent form away from home has been far from impressive. Roma have won just once in their last six games on their travels. Napoli, meanwhile, have been sublime at home, winning 13 of their 17 games at the San Paolo in all competitions so far this season.
Hello and welcome to tonight's LIVE commentary on the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg between Napoli and Roma. The Giallorossi travel to the San Paolo with a slender 3-2 aggregate lead from the first meeting, but the Partenopei's two away goals mean they are anything but out of this one. Fiorentina await the winner of this tie in the final and I, Tom Webber, will be guiding you through all the action.
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