Coppa Italia Round 16 review - the story so far
13 January at 13:20
It was away pain for the travelling teams as the Coppa Italia round of 16 got under way this week.
Holders Juventus were given a stern test by the ever impressive Atalanta. Argentine playmaker Pablo Dybala scored a sumptuous volley to give the Bianconeri the lead after 22 minutes and 12 minutes later played a perfect ball into the path of Mario Mandzukic, as the Croatian doubled the lead.
In a game of superb goals, Atalanta winger Abdoulay Konko, a half time substitute, scored with a brilliant curling shot to bring the side from Bergamo back into the game. Just three minutes later Juventus restored their two goal lead, Stefan Lichsteiner was fouled in the penalty area and Miralem Pjanic converted the penalty. Emmanuel Latte finished off an excellent passing move for Atalanta but the holders stood firm and won 3-2.
Spezia one of only two Serie B teams left in the competition, travelled to the Stadio San Paolo to take on Napoli. The home side got off to a blistering start as Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski scored after just three minutes. The sides went in at half time level thanks to a goal from Antonio Piccolo, his left footed shot from outside the box somehow found the bottom left hand corner.
Two goals in two minutes finished off the challenge from the Serie B side; on 55 minutes Emanuele Giaccherini scored with a right footed volley after a great pass from Lorenzo Insigne. Manolo Gabbiadini then chested in from close range, after a great run and cross by Marko Rog. Leonardo Pavoletti marked his Napoli debut however, with a spectacular miss from just inside the six yard box as Napoli advanced.
At the sparsely populated Stadio Artemio Franchi a lacklustre first half between Fiorentina and Chievo was brought to life in the final minute. Chievo midfielder Ivan Radovanovic received his second yellow card after a foul on Nenad Tomovic. Federico Bernardeschi then rattled the ensuing free kick off the bar.
Fiorentina started the second half with more purpose and a goal line clearance from Mariano Izco prevented La Viola from taking the lead. With 20 minutes left Mauro Zarate was sent off for a foul on Samuel Bastien leaving both sides with ten men. In time added on, Josep Ilicic won a controversial penalty coolly dispatched by Bernardeschi as Fiorentina progressed.
AC Milan completed the clean sweep of home wins with a 2-1 over Torino; a scrappy first half was interrupted by one moment of quality as Marco Benassi threaded a lovely ball into the path of Andrea Belotti to give Torino a half time lead.
The second half was again disjointed and lacking real quality but Milan’s hard work ethic paid off as two goals in as many minutes won the game for the Rossoneri. First Juraj Kucka scored from a tight angle as Giacomo Bonaventura squared the ball across the six yard box before provider Bonaventura turned goalscorer as he volleyed in a cross from Suso. Torino finished the game with ten men as Antonio Barreca received his second yellow in the closing stages.