Spezia defeated Cagliari 2-1 in Serie A on Saturday evening at the Stadio Alberto Picco, and in doing so made the Sardinians’ top-flight survival chances even slimmer.
All goals came in a high-octane second half, with Roberto Piccolo’s header and Giulio Maggiore’s scuffed half-volley putting Spezia two ahead before Gaston Pereiro replied for Cagliari.
Some lovely one-touch play between Radja Nainggolan and Leonardo Pavoletti resulted in the first chance of the game for Cagliari after just one minute with Joao Pedro bringing a save from Jeroen Zoet.
Cagliari’s top scorer then brought another save from the Spezia keeper after a Razvan Marin corner on the ten-minute mark before firing a half-volley narrowly wide soon after.
As the half went on, the hosts began to get a foothold on the game and threatened on a couple of occasions but to no avail and the sides went in level.
Piccoli gave the Aquilotti the lead early in the second half after he slotted his header into the far corner, beyond the despairing Alessio Cragno, from an Emmanuel Gyasi cross on the 49th minute.
Substitute Pereiro had a golden chance to equalise in the 73rd minute but his point-blank shot was miraculously saved by the outstretched leg of Zoet as Cagliari turned the screw.
Then Spezia found themselves two to the good when Maggiore’s mishit shot bounced fortuitously over Cragno to double the hosts’ lead.
Casteddu hit back thanks to Pereiro’s second goal for the club, with another scuffed effort at the back post in what was yet another crazy end to a vital relegation clash in Serie A.
Nahitan Nandez had the ball in the net three minutes from the end, but his apparent equaliser was ruled out for offside as Semplici’s men threw absolutely everything at Spezia.
Joao Pedro also thought he’d grabbed a last-gasp leveller, but referee Maurizio Mariani turned to VAR and the goal was disallowed as Giovanni Simeone was deemed offside and therefore adjudged to have been interfering with play.
Leonardo Semplici’s team remain in 18th place, one point behind Torino who also have two games in hand.