Cagliari and Sassuolo played out a 1-1 draw in Serie A on Saturday evening with both sides relying on their star strikers to deliver the goods in an otherwise listless encounter.
Francesco Caputo scored his 18th Serie A goal of the season to give the Neroverdi the lead early on, a strike which was the 1000th registered in the league this season.
Joao Pedro drew Cagliari level on the night and in doing so brought himself on terms with Caputo in the goalscoring charts as he also netted his 18th of the season with his side’s first effort on goal.
Sassuolo started brightly on a hot night in Sardinia and took the lead on the 12th minute when Caputo headed in unmarked at the back post after a Hamed Traore corner was flicked into his path by Lukas Haraslin.
Gianluca Pegolo was little more than a spectator in the Sassuolo goal because the Isolani failed to muster a single shot on goal in the first half, in which the home side were pegged inside their own half with the visitors enjoying more than 75 percent possession.
The Casteddu made two changes at half time, one of which saw 19-year-old Riccardo Ladinetti come on for his professional debut in place of Valter Birsa.
However, Andrea Carboni was given his marching orders only three minutes after the restart for a second yellow card, leaving his side with even more to do.
The sending off was his second dismissal in his short Serie A career, now having been sent off twice in only six games for Cagliari.
Joao Pedro pulled the home side level after some great play between the Brazilian striker and Marko Rog, the latter ghosting down the left before squaring for Pedro to side-foot home very much against the run of play.
Roberto De Zerbi’s team continued to press for a winner but 10-man Cagliari held on to ensure that spoils were shared in sunny Sardinia leaving the teams eighth and 11th in the Serie A table, respectively.