Thursday November 24 2011
Cerci fires Fiorentina through

Fiorentina are through to the Coppa Italia’s Round of 16 after seeing off local rivals Empoli in the fourth round on Thursday evening.

Delio Rossi recorded his first win as Viola Coach in a comfortable 2-1 win over the Serie B side thanks to two first-half strikes from Alessio Cerci.

Rossi rested a number of players for the midweek Cup game, with goalkeeper Neto, full-back Nii Nortey Ashong, Houssine Kharja and Santiago Silva all given a chance to impress their new boss.

Empoli had the better of the opening exchanges of play, but Fiorentina’s 59 per cent possession reflects the overall pattern to the game. Cerci opened the scoring with an individual effort, before an assist from Riccardo Montolivo ensured his second of the night.

That second strike proved to be decisive as the visitors pulled a goal back through second-half substitute Irakli Shekiladze. This set up a tense final quarter of the match that was characterised by the balance between Fiorentina’s attempts to score a third goal and their cautious defending to avoid conceding again.

A beaten finalist last year with Palermo and a past competition winner with Lazio, Rossi has outlined that the Coppa Italia is being taken seriously by Fiornetina. La Viola will face Roma in the Round of 16.

Fiorentina 2-1 Empoli

Scorers: Cerci 28, 37 (F), Shekiladze 65 (E)

Fiorentina: Neto; De Silvestri, Natali, Nastasic, Ashong (Camporese 75); Montolivo, Munari, Kharja (Vargas 33); Lazzari; Cerci (Ljajic 61), Silva

Empoli: Dossena; Hisaj, Tonelli, Chara, Regini (Gorzegno 82); Coppola, Guitto, Signorelli, Brugman; Dumitru (Shekiladze 60); Mchedlidze (Pucciarelli 75)

Ref: Doveri