Fiorentina absolutely thumped Roma 7-1 in an incredible game of football at the Stadio Artemio Franchi with Federico Chiesa bagging a hat-trick in the process.
Chiesa broke the deadlock early on and got his second not long after, before Roma pulled one back with Aleksandar Kolarov, only for La Viola then re-establish a two-goal lead through Luis Muriel.
Marco Benassi scored Fiorentina’s fourth with half an hour remaining, then Chiesa and Giovanni Simeone rounded off a spectacular evening in rainy Florence.
Attack rather than defence was the order of the day for both as chances were not in short supply. Kevin Mirallas brilliantly set up Chiesa after just seven minutes, then the pair linked up again again as Chiesa chipped over Robin Olsen to find his second.
Kolarov found the back of the net with a powerful finish, but before the half time whistle was blown Muriel fired home from close range a lovely Christian Biraghi assist to make it 3-1 for the hosts.
Eusebio Di Francesco brought on Lorenzo Pellegrini for Steven Nzonzi and Edin Dzeko for Javier Pastore to add quality to the midfield and add strength up front, but Roma struggled to be dangerous, despite dominating possession.
Alban Lafont’s superb save denied Nicolo Zaniolo, and five minutes later Benassi made the most of a Muriel assist to grab the fourth for La Viola.
That was just the beginning of the nightmare for Roma, as Dzeko was sent off for dissent the referee, then a minute later it was Chiesa again to get his third and Fiorentina’s fifth.
Simeone – who came on as a substitute – scored twice to make it seven in an incredible night for La Viola, who will now face either Atalanta or Juventus in the semi-final.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
It is one of those games that will not be forgotten at the Artemio Franchi. This will be in the history books for a while. Chiesa was unplayable, Fiorentina were devastating, Roma non existent. Perfection, for any Fiorentina fan. Pioli’s plan was executed perfectly, with the speed and pace of the strikers cutting inside and exploiting all the Giallorossi’s defensive problems. Fiorentina now can plan the semi-final of the Coppa Italia knowing they can do almost anything playing like this, with this Muriel, and especially with this Chiesa.
Roberto Mancini was in the stands at the Franchi and the Italian contingent responded well to the Azzurri coach being there. Chiesa was devastating, creating chances, testing Robin Olsen more than once and scoring the first hat-trick in his career. Biragi had a marvellous performance down the left, providing a lovely assist. Benassi was on the scoresheet yet again, confirming his ability in front of goal. Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante struggled in midfield, whilst Nicolo Zaniolo showed once again he is currently fundamental to Roma, as without him, the Giallorossi are almost non-existent going forward. It was a difficult night for Alessandro Florenzi, who had to face Chiesa or Mirallas most of the time.
NO DEFENCE, NO ATTACK
Patrik Schick was absent for most of the game, Dzeko was sent off after just 27 minutes on the pitch in a terrible night for Roma’s strikers. And it’s not like it was any better for the backline. Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas were over exposed, left isolated by Kolarov and Florenzi, who struggled to cope with the pace of Muriel, Mirallas and Chiesa. Di Francesco’s Roma didn’t even try to defend, and Fiorentina were lethal on the counter, making the most of the space given. A performance that will raise questions about the management of Di Francesco. Losing 7-1 will go down in the history books for the wrong reasons, resembling defeats in the Champions League against Manchester United and Bayern Munich.