Napoli progressed into the Coppa Italia final with an excellent 3-0 victory over AS Roma at the San Paolo on Wednesday. The partenopei were down 3-2 heading into the home leg, though goals from José Callejon, Gonzalo Higuaín and Jorginho were enough for them to emphatically overturn their deficit and set up a final against Fiorentina in May.
Callejón's opener came near the end of a first half in which Napoli had quite comfortably seen more of the ball, though hadn't always been at their most productive with it. In fact, Roma looked rather content to soak up pressure and play on the counter-attack, squandering several half-chances after Pepe Reina had denied Mattia Destro from point-blank range in the first few minutes.
But eventually Napoli's possession told, as Christian Maggio exploited the defensive weakness of Roma's makeshift left-back Michel Bastos and looped a deep cross in from the right. Neither Leandro Castán nor Mehdi Benatia picked up the run of the onrushing Callejón, who converted his free header to give the partenopei a 33rd minute lead.
Roma continued to sporadically cause problems for the notoriously porous Napoli defense, though alas it wasn't just Gervinho who lacked a clinical touch. They were lucky not to be punished and go in two behind at the halftime whistle, as Marek Hamšík's audacious long-range chip narrowly cleared Morgan De Sanctis' crossbar with the keeper MIA.
But, their luck had a limited timespan, and ran out as the second half began. Gonzalo Higuaín escaped Vasilis Torosidis to head his side into a two-goal lead before Roma's defence catastrophically disintegrated, conceding a third within three minutes. Dries Mertens slipped a cutting pass through for untracked runner Jorginho, who opened his Napoli account with a deft finish.
Roma may have been rattled, but still weren't wholly out of the tie. The aggregate score meant they only needed two to take the game into extra time, with Napoli's advantage not quite as comfortable as it seemed. Mattia Destro had a goal chalked out for offside before spurning a good headed opportunity, as the giallorossi looked to claw their way back into the match.
But, despite finding themselves in the ascendency for the first time, Rudi Garcia's side had nothing to show for their efforts, with things going from bad to worse as Kevin Strootman was sent off for a second bookable offense. After losing to Lazio in the final last year, they miss out on the chance to make amends.
Napoli: Reina; Ghoulam, Albiol, Fernández, Maggio; Inler, Jorginho (Henrique 85'); Mertens, Hamšík (Behrami 76'), Callejón; Higuaín (Insigne 82').
Goals: Callejón (33'), Higuaín (48'), Jorginho (51').
AS Roma: De Sanctis; Bastos, Castán, Benatia, Torosidis (Maicon 49'); Strootman, De Rossi, Pjanić (Totti 61'); Gervinho, Destro, Ljajić (Florenzi 56').
Red cards: Strootman (79').