Italiano thanks Fiorentina after ‘crazy game’ with Napoli

by | Jan 13, 2022 21:30

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano admits it was a ‘crazy game’ to beat Napoli 5-2 in extra time after three red cards and he ‘can’t stomach’ the second equaliser.

The Viola had taken the lead at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona through Dusan Vlahovic, cancelled out by a Dries Mertens curler in this Coppa Italia Round of 16 tie.

Despite Bartlomiej Dragowski’s red card, the Tuscans still restored their advantage with Cristiano Biraghi, but when Napoli went down to nine men and equalised thanks to Andrea Petagna, it went to extra time.

Lorenzo Venuti, Krzysztof Piatek and Youssef Maleh sealed the 5-2 result and Fiorentina will face Atalanta in the Coppa Italia quarter-final next month.

Coppa Italia | Napoli 2-5 Fiorentina aet: Piatek seals fiery thriller

“The most satisfying thing is that we rediscovered our spirit so quickly after seeming to lose it against Torino,” said Italiano in his press conference, referring to their 4-0 Serie A defeat.

“It was a real game in the first half, then everything happened, it was just a crazy game with red cards and anomalous situations. When it was 12 against 12, we played really well.”

The topsy-turvy encounter saw Fiorentina take the lead when down to 10 and Napoli equalise after seeing two players sent off.

“The game seemed to be over, you can’t go to extra time in that situation. As for our red card, Dragowski mis-read the situation, these things can happen, he will learn from it. The second goal is the one I really can’t stomach.

“It was a match with so many massive errors, but I am happy to have secured passage to the quarter-final and eliminated Napoli.”

There was more good news for Italiano, as January signing Piatek came off the bench and scored on his Viola debut.

“He came on when we were trying to defend our lead with a man down and sacrificed himself to help out, then scored with his first opportunity. We needed someone to be an understudy to Vlahovic and he has a lot of experience. Jonathan Ikone also brings pace and they are excellent additions.”

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