Napoli struggled to win over Empoli in Coppa Italia. In the end, Andrea Petagna’s late goal offered Gli Azzuri the victory that carries them to the Quarter-finals of the competition.
In spite of fielding one of their strongest sides, Gennaro Gattuso’s side was forced to sweat out the final minutes of their match against Serie B team, Empoli.
Napoli began their match in their classic 4-2-3-1 formation. Andrea Petagna was given the opportunity start up front, a decision that Gattuso will feel proud to have taken. Diego Demme and Kalidou Koulibaly also made a return to the fold following recent injuries.
While Napoli grabbed an early goal through Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Empoli were quick to equalize through Nedim Bajrami. Hirving Lozano, once again, put the Partenopei ahead before half-time.
Empoli weren’t done though and equalized through Nedim Bajrami.
With less than 15 minutes on the clock, central forward Andrea Petagna scored the winner for his team.
It was an unexpectedly close encounter, once again, marking the hotly disputed nature of Coppa Italia. Empoli registered 13 shots, 4 of them on target. While Napoli did enjoy the better possession here, the fear of an upset could be seen through the Gattuso’s expression of relief at the end of the game.
Napoli have now advanced through to the Quarter-Final stage of the competition. They are to soon find out the identity of their opponents.