Fiorentina lost 1-0 to Carpi at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday afternoon.
The Viola were unable to finish their chances early on and were subsequently made to pay by Antonio Di Gaudio late in the second half, sending the Tuscans out of the competition at their very first hurdle.
Paulo Sousa’s side started brightly, though they were denied the chance to take the lead as goalkeeper Zeljo Brkic produced a miraculous performance to keep his side in the game.
The first real chance of the match came from a powerful Federico Bernardeschi shot, which was smartly parried away by Brkic before Khouma Babacar was able to reach the ball. Manuel Pasqual then helped the hosts pile on the pressure as he sent in an inch perfect cross for the Senegal international, however, Brkic was on hand once more to clear the ball off his own line twice, after a knock-back from his own defender Simone Romagnoli.
To the home side’s shock, Carpi then began to grow back into the game, having been on the back foot for the first 15 minutes, as Antonio Di Gaudio drove towards Luigi Sepe’s goal, cracking a shot just wide of the post, followed by another chance minutes later which almost resulted in a goal.
The Biancorossi were gifted a free kick on the edge of the area, which was met by the foot of Riccardo Gagliolo who managed to drill the ball against the post, a mere matter of inches from finding the back of the net. Cristian Zaccardo almost ensured that it did, though Sepe kept his wits about him to leap high in the air and push the ball away.
Both sides continued to trade blows throughout the rest of the half, though it was Fiorentina who wasted the majority of their chances as they pushed forward hoping to break the deadlock.
Milan Badelj’s long range drive found itself deflected onto the crossbar while Ante Rebic wasted a one-on-one chance with Brkic, unable tap in the rebound and as a result found himself substituted in the second half for Josip Ilicic.
For all the Viola’s dominance they continued to fail in front of goal and were eventually punished for their incompetence in the 76th minute. The visitors hit out on a fast counter-attack after yet another broken attack from Fiorentina and managed to silence the entire home crowd as Di Gaudio cut past Nenad Tomovic to curl the ball into the right hand corner.
Giuseppe Rossi was brought on in a desperate effort to grab a last minute equaliser and almost managed to tee-up Marcos Alonso, only for the Spaniard to be cruelly denied by yet another Brkic save.
The evening was then to end on a sour note, as Fiorentina became frustrated and unable to save their blushes.
Jerry Mbakogu began wasting time in the final minutes and kicked the ball out of grounds as Gonzalo Rodriguez prompted himself to take a free-kick, which the Viola captain lashed out at, hitting Mbakogu.
As a result both players were sent off and the match ended 1-0.