Napoli will face Inter in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia after beating Bologna 2-1 at the Stadio San Paolo.
The Azzurri began the game in the knowledge that they hadn't lost an Italian Cup tie at home since a 3-0 reverse to Roma back in December 2005 – eights wins and three draws ago – and that unbeaten run was extended this evening.
Napoli wasted little time in taking control of a tie which saw both tacticians rest many of their regulars in favour of squad players who have had limited playing time this term.
As a result, Edinson Cavani started on the bench for the home side, while Marco Di Vaio was not even called up by the visitors.
After Juan Zuniga forced Cristiano Lupatelli into a superb save, Napoli took the lead in the ninth minute. Hassan Yebda was the scorer with a fine angled header from an Ezequiel Lavezzi corner.
Napoli's pace in attack was causing Bologna a few problems and some sloppy defending allowed the hosts to extend their lead less than 15 minutes later. This time it was Lavezzi himself who fired home from close range.
There were no changes at the interval and little appeared to change on the pitch, even if a temporary floodlight failure brought a brief halt to the encounter.
Once the tie resumed it was Napoli who again threatened with Zuniga and Lavezzi, before Napoli allowed Bologna back into the game.
Emilson Cribari needlessly brought down Riccardo Meggiorini in the box and the same player converted the resulting penalty.
With Bologna just a goal behind, Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri – who had never lost to opposite number Alberto Malesani in four games – turned to Cavani who replaced a disappointing Jose Sosa.
Christian Maggio was also thrown on soon after following an injury sustained by Luigi Vitale. The latter left the field in tears with an ankle injury that could turn out to be serious.
Malesani too made changes, switching his striking options but they created little against a Napoli side who were strong in possession and powerful in midfield.
Napoli kept their heads, refused to sit back too deep and maintained control of a second half which contained few chances to book their spot in the last eight of the competition.
Napoli 2-1 Bologna
Scorers: Yeba 9 (N), Lavezzi 23 (N), Meggiorini pen 56 (B)
Napoli: Iezzo; Santacroce, Cribari, Aronica; Zuniga, Blasi, Yebda, Vitale (Maggio 74); Hamsik, Sosa (Cavani 66); Lavezzi (Lucarelli 86)
Bologna: Lupatelli; Portanova, Cherubin, Esposito; Cruz, Krhin, Radovanovic (Mutarelli 82), Busce; Casarini; Gimenez (Gavilan 75), Meggiorini (Pisanu 71)
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