Premier League-linked Vlahovic retains remarkable form in Fiorentina win
FIORENTINA defeated Napoli 5-2 in overtime on Thursday to reach the Italian Cup quarter-finals in a dramatic game that saw three red cards.
This is the eighth time in 10 seasons that Fiorentina have reached the quarterfinals.
Dusan Vlahovic, who has been heavily linked with a move away from Florence with Arsenal among the clubs that would be interested, put the visitors ahead with his 19th goal of the season four minutes before halftime as the game came to life.
Napoli winger Dries Mertens equalized three minutes later, before Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski was sent off for a cynical block on Elif Elmas as the Macedonian looked to profit from defensive confusion.
But the 10 men restored their lead in the 58th minute as Italian left-back Cristiano Biraghi rebounded inside the box to score.
Napoli also fired a man, as substitute Hirving Lozano received a consecutive red card after a VAR exam.
The mood for the hosts grew again in the downtime, with another replacement, Fabian Ruiz, given his marching orders for a second booking.
But seconds later, Napoli’s Andrea Petagna scored a remarkable equalizer to force overtime.
Fiorentina made their power play, however, as Lorenzo Venuti and Krzysztof Piatek scored on either side of the half in overtime.
Morocco’s Youssef Maleh added a fifth as his side lost in a round of 16 clash with Atalanta, who beat Venezia 2-0 on Wednesday.
Later Thursday, AC Milan host Genoa, and the remaining five round of 16 matches will be played next week.