Cagliari delivered a potentially fatal blow to Parma’s hopes of survival on Saturday evening as the Crociati blew yet another two-goal lead to lose 4-3 at the Sardegna Arena.
What was always a six-pointer in Serie A’s fight for survival delivered a gripping seven-goal thriller eventually went the hosts’ way, despite them trailing as late as the 91st minute before drawing level for the first time on the night at 3-3, only for Parma-born Alberto Cerri to score a last-gasp winner for Gli Isolani.
Casteddu were lifeless for much of the first half and Parma took full advantage. The opener came from an unlikely source through Giuseppe Pezzella who, with just five minutes played, was nicely placed to volley a half-cleared ball right back at Cagliari and past Guglielmo Vicario in the hosts’ goal.
That lead was soon doubled through captain Juraj Kucka. A relatively straightforward long ball was helped on by Andreas Cornelius and the Slovakia international went through to finish.
Parma’s record from two goals up is poor this season though, so they would have been left sweating at half time having seen Leonardo Pavoletti pull a goal back before the break.
Unlike their reaction when they conceded once having gone two ahead against AC Milan, Udinese and Spezia though, the Crociati came out fighting after the second half. Less than a quarter of an hour after the restart, Dennis Man got on the scoresheet with a nicely taken strike after some clever footwork earned him some space outside the area, restoring Parma’s two-goal cushion.
Again, though, that was halved shortly after. Razvan Marin did what Man had just done, tucking a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Cagliari then had life and looked the most likely to score next. They very nearly did just that when Joao Pedro headed off the post before Gaston Brugman, at the other end, audaciously shot directly from a corner and hit the outside of the near post.
Their equaliser eventually came in the 91st minute when Gaston Pereiro curled in a sublime sixth goal of the game from outside the area before Parma-born Cerri headed in a 94th-minute winner to all but confirm his former side’s relegation to Serie B.
Parma stay 19th and seven points adrift of Torino in 17th, having played two games more than Toro. Cagliari, though, are now just two points off the Granata, though they too have played two more games than the Torinese.