Gervinho Lifts Roma In Italian Cup

In-form Gervinho scored two fantastic goals, including the winner two minutes from full time, to give AS Roma a thrilling 3-2 victory in their Italian Cup semi final first leg match against Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.
The Ivorian’s goals helped Roma to their sixth straight win and handed Rudi Garcia’s side a slender lead ahead of next week’s second leg after visiting Napoli had rallied to level from 2-0 down.
A comical Morgan De Sanctis own goal just after the break and a smart Dries Mertens strike saw Rafael Benitez’s gritty side fight back after Gervinho and a rocket shot by Kevin Strootman had put the home team on top at halftime.
Gervinho gave the hosts the lead when he latched on to a phenomenal Francesco Totti through-ball and delicately lifted the ball over Pepe Reina before rolling home into an empty net.
Strootman then drove home Roma’s advantage with an unstoppable strike, only for De Sanctis to hand Napoli a lifeline when he let Gonzalo Higuain’s deflected cross slip through his fingers and creep over the line.
Belgium international Mertens then levelled the match and, with two away goals, put his side into a commanding position in the tie when he burst past the Roma defence and emphatically shot over a prone De Sanctis with 20 minutes remaining.
However Gervinho sparked wild celebrations among the home supporters with his dramatic second goal, which he slotted home at Reina’s near post after a sweeping passing move, giving his side a slight advantage going into a potentially explosive second leg.
-Source: reuters.

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