Mario Gomez scores twice, Fiorentina tops Atalanta in Coppa Italia last 16
MILAN (AP) — Mario Gomez scored twice as Fiorentina cruised into the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup with a 3-1 victory over Atalanta on Wednesday, while Inter Milan also progressed after beating nine-man Sampdoria 2-0.
Gomez, who has been struggling with injury and form, had only scored once in the previous 10 months. But he got Fiorentina off to the perfect start with a deflected shot in the sixth minute.
Juan Cuadrado doubled Fiorentina's lead from the spot in the 12th minute after Guglielmo Stendardo was harshly adjudged to have fouled Gomez, sparking fierce Atalanta protests.
Gomez added Fiorentina's third in the 28th minute before Rolando Bianchi scored a consolation goal just before halftime with a curler into the bottom right corner.
Fiorentina defender Marcos Alonso was sent off in the 84th after two bookings in three minutes.
Fiorentina will next face Roma, while Inter will play either Napoli or Udinese after the club's two new signings — Lukas Podolski and Xherdan Shaqiri — combined to set it on its way to victory.
Inter struggled to break down Sampdoria despite playing most of the match with a numerical advantage. Nenad Krsticic was sent off in the 12th minute after he brought down Mauro Icardi, with the forward adjudged to have been clean through on goal.
Icardi could have given Inter the lead shortly before halftime but Sampdoria goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved his penalty after Pawel Wszolek had bundled over Dodo.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 71st minute. Podolski did well to hold up the ball in the area before slotting it through to Shaqiri for his first Inter goal on his first start for the club since joining from Bayern Munich.
Any hope Sampdoria had of taking the match to extra time all but evaporated six minutes later when Wszolek was sent off for a second booking.
Icardi atoned for his earlier penalty failure by sealing the match two minutes from time, firing into an empty net after a poor back pass left Romero in trouble and forced him out of his area.