Coppa Italia: Roma 2 Empoli 1 (AET)

A controversial penalty gave Roma a hard-fought 2-1 extra-time win over Empoli in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday.

Daniele De Rossi converted a controversial penalty in extra-time to send Roma through to the last eight of the Coppa Italia with a 2-1 win over Empoli at Stadio Olimpico.

Tuesday's last-16 clash looked to be heading to spot-kicks after Simone Verdi equalised late in normal time for the visitors.

However, referee Marco Di Bello gave De Rossi the opportunity to end matters in the 113th minute when he pointed to the spot after Matias Vecino tackled Roma substitute Leandro Paredes in the area.

Vecino appeared to get the ball and Empoli protested vehemently - but De Rossi kept his cool to send Davide Bassi the wrong way from 12 yards and put Rudi Garcia's side through to the quarter-finals.

Such drama did not appear to be on the cards when Juan Iturbe gave Roma the lead with a calm finish after just five minutes.

Roma were in complete control of the tie, with the only negative of the first half from Garcia's point of view being Ashley Cole's enforced withdrawal due to a head injury in the former Chelsea left-back's first start since November.

Radja Nainggolan forced Bassi into an excellent save just before the interval, and the Empoli keeper was called into action again shortly after the restart when Mattia Destro shot after latching onto a clever ball from Maicon.

However, Empoli stayed in the game and were rewarded for their resilience in the 79th minute, when Verdi rounded Roma stopper Lukasz Skorupski superbly and slotted into the empty net from an acute angle.

Both teams appeared to have settled for penalties as they tired in extra-time, but Roma icon De Rossi was on hand to book a last-eight tie with either Fiorentina or Atalanta when Di Bello decided Vecino had fouled Paredes.