Holders Napoli crashed out of the Coppa Italia after Bologna fought back from an early goal to win 2-1 at the San Paolo, just three days after doing it in Serie A. It means the Rossoblu go forward to face Inter in the Quarter-Finals and secure their status as Napoli’s nightmare opponents.
These sides already met here in Serie A on Sunday evening, when Bologna ran out shock 3-2 winners. A place in the Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals was at stake this time and there were huge changes to the two line-ups. This was also the first match since Napoli were docked two points and six-month bans handed to Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava in the betting scandal.
Edinson Cavani forced a save out of Stojanovic at the near post, but the goalkeeper could do nothing from the Uruguayan’s glancing header at the near post. After the goal, Cavani and Coach Walter Mazzarri held up a Napoli jersey with ‘Cannavaro and Grava’ written on it. The striker also made a point of embracing Gokhan Inler to silence rumours they had a row last week.
Cavani almost made it 2-0 after 21 minutes when curling a free kick from practically the corner flag and it swerved on to the crossbar.
Panagiotis Kone, who scored an incredible scissor-kick volley here on Sunday, nutmegged Miguel Angel Britos and was brought down just outside the box, but from the free kick Hugo Campagnaro was able to clear.
Bologna did draw level when a cross was flicked on for the unmarked Cristian Pasquato, who cut back in on to his left foot to beat Andrea Dossena and his angled drive went in despite Morgan De Sanctis getting a limb to it.
Dejan Stojanovic smothered a dangerous Giandomenico Mesto pass at Goran Pandev’s feet. Marek Hamsik came off the bench and within 20 seconds had set up Inler for an angled drive just wide.
Inler tried again and this time Stojanovic had to parry the effort, but Pasquato went on the counter and appeared to dribble round De Sanctis until the goalkeeper did enough to force a corner.
Bologna’s 19-year-old substitute Luca Verratti also threatened a winner when getting on the end of a Frederik Sorensen pass over the top, but his cushioned header was denied by a wonderful one-handed De Sanctis save.
Pandev should’ve done better when scuffing wide after an inspired Cavani volleyed assist. Moments later the Macedonian thumped the post from another Cavani pass.
Tiberio Guarente tested De Sanctis from distance, as Bologna focused only on the counter-attack. Stojanovic flew to palm a Cavani header out from the bottom corner of the net. The referee then waved away penalty appeals, as Daniele Portanova got the ball rather than Cavani.
A Lorenzo Insigne solo effort and Cavani free kick whistled just wide of the upright, but once again Kone stunned the San Paolo crowd into silence.
In stoppages Kone curled a wonderful finish – perhaps with a slight deflection off Inler – to slot in at the far post past De Sanctis’ out-stretched hand. It was just three days after he had netted an amazing goal here in Serie A.
Campagnaro had the chance to equalise straight away, but his header was inches wide from a Juan Camilo Zuniga cross.
Napoli 1-2 Bologna
Scorers: Cavani 12 (N), Pasquato 38 (B), Kone 91 (B)
Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Fernandez (Zuniga 75), Britos; Mesto, Donadel, Inler, Dossena (Insigne 82); El Kaddouri (Hamsik 60); Pandev, Cavani
Bologna: Stojanovic; Sorensen, Radakovic, De Carvalho; Garics, Riverola (Portanova 64), Guarente, Abero; Pasquato, Kone; Paponi (Verratti 71)