Cagliari’s wait for a Serie A victory was extended to eight games after Andreas Cornelius capitalised on Ragnar Klavan’s slack defending to snatch a 2-2 draw for Parma at the death, on Saturday evening.
The Sardinian outfit were once again punished for a lapse in concentration, meaning they’ve now lost 15 points from winning positions, one more than the whole of last season and second only to Brescia in this year’s championship.
Casteddu could have game buried long before the Crociati began to feel their way back into the tie but failed to tuck away their chances.
Rolando Maran’s side had 20 attempts on goal – eight of which were on target – the biggest total they’ve managed this term, but to no avail.
The quality of Maran’s game management may come into question when Cornelius ghosted in at the back post, cashing in as Klavan napped to ruin the weekend for Cagliari fans as they were about to head off having ended potentially the long wait for victory.
The Rossoblu are, in fact, so expansive in their attacking play that maybe opposition coaches know that there are goals to be had on the counter, as Roberto D’Aversa probably advised Parma as they pushed for an equaliser, despite being under constant pressure at the other end.
This gung-ho style, which relies heavily on the full-backs bombing forward time-after-time has seen the Casteddu net 38 times in 22 games, this season in Serie A, a stat that has never been managed by the Isolani at this point in any of their previous Serie A campaigns.
Eleven of those 38 have come from crosses, the most of any team this season and with many thanks to topscorer Joao Pedro, but if the Brazilian’s goals are to count for something the Maran’s side must learn how to see a game out, especially if they want to land a European spot as they face stiff competition from the likes of Parma and AC Milan.
Penalties and Bryant tribute
Joao Pedro continued his prolific spell by netting his 14th Serie A goal of the season, sitting second behind the legendary Zico on the list of Brazilian goalscorers after 22 games in a Serie A season, the latter having scored 17 in 22 games for Udinese in the 1983/84 campaign.
However, it could’ve been better still if Pedro had converted his penalty on the 53rd minute against Parma, failing to hit the target and missing the chance to bag his 15th of the season and to give his side a victory that he believes they deserved.
“We created loads, we could’ve had the game won,” Pedro told reporters after the game.
“It hurts to have lost the points but that’s not taking anything away from Parma, they’re a great team and put lots of effort into looking for a draw in the final minutes.
“Obviously, we have to do better. We gave it our all and deserved more [from the game].
“We have to grow and to improve in certain areas, but we’re getting back to where we were some months ago.”
As the Brazilian forward wheeled away in celebration after his first half opener, he paid homage to the late Kobe Bryant with his goal celebration, after being taken aback by the recent death of the basketball great, as have many sport fans around the world.
“I celebrated my goal by mimicking a basketball shot,” Pedro went on to explain.
“It was to pay tribute to Kobe. His death was hard to take because he was a great player but above all a great sportsman.”