Napoli vs. Fiorentina, 2014 Coppa Italia: Final score 3-1, Neapolitans seal the silverware

Giuseppe Bellini

Napoli lifted the Coppa Italia after downing Fiorentina 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Napoli beat Fiorentina 3-1 to win the Coppa Italia on Saturday in a match that will live long in the memory for events both on and off the field. The game didn't begin until over half an hour after the scheduled start time due to violence outside the Stadio Olimpico, though Napoli made up for lost time through an early brace from their attacker Lorenzo Insigne. Juan Manuel Vargas clawed Fiorentina back into the game later in the half, though their hopes of glory were finally dashed by Dries Mertens' goal in stoppage time at the end of the match.

Their opening two goals came so early on that it looked like the game would end up a completely one-sided affair. It took just 12 minutes for Insigne to race through on the counter-attack and tuck Marek Hamšík's cutting pass inside Neto's far post, and only five more before the winger met Gonzalo Higuaín's cross in the box and, via a Nenad Tomović deflection, double the Neapolitans' advantage.

Fiorentina looked extremely poor, with their play narrow and predictable, and their defending chaotic. With their fast breaks and attacking width, Napoli looked capable of slicing the Tuscans apart at will. But the old cliché that goals change games was proven right when Vargas halved the viola deficit with a snapshot from the edge of the box just short of the half-hour mark; changing the complexion of the game in an instant.

The goal seemed to calm Fiorentina, and suddenly the game was much more even. They thought they'd equalised on the stroke of halftime when Alberto Aquilani prodded a free-kick past Pepe Reina, only to see the offside flag raised. It was a tight call, with replays seeming to suggest that the playmaker may've been just onside when the ball was played. Still, the viola had the momentum at the break, and suddenly it was Napoli who had reason to feel more nervous.

The second half picked up where the first had left off, with Fiorentina still seeing much of the ball. Alas, they still struggled to convert it into anything meaningful, and their best opportunities, save for a late Josep Iličić chance, came from set-pieces. Substitute Goran Pandev should've polished the viola and the game off inside the last 20 minutes, though the Macedonian put Napoli's best chance of the entire half right at Neto.

Fortunately for him, it didn't matter. Despite captain Gökhan Inler being sent off for a second bookable offence with just over 10 minutes left, Napoli ensured their first silverware of the Rafael Benítez era with a late counter-attacking goal from substitute Mertens.

Fiorentina: Neto; Pasqual (Fernández 56'), Savić, Rodríguez, Tomović; Valero, Pizarro, Aquilani (Matri 83'); Vargas, Iličić, Joaquín (Rossi 73').

Goals: Vargas (28').

Napoli: Reina; Ghoulam, Albiol, Fernández, Henrique; Inler, Jorginho; Insigne (Behrami 81'), Hamšík (Mertens 64'), Callejón; Higuaín (Pandev 71').

Goals: Insigne (11', 17'), Mertens (90+3').

Red cards: Inler (79').

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.