Cagliari finally got their first win of the season after defeating Sampdoria 3-1 at the Unipol Domus on Sunday afternoon, to lift them out of the relegation zone.
Joao Pedro’s fifth and sixth Serie A goals of the season, and Martin Caceres’ deflected effort put the game beyond the Blucherchiati, despite Morten Thorsby’s headed consolation effort in the last 10 minutes leaving the sides equal on six points apiece in 16th and 17th place respectively.
Walter Mazzarri’s men took an early lead on the fourth minute via top scorer Joao Pedro. The Brazilian nodded in at the back post following a beautifully hooked Keita Balde cross. However, the wait for confirmation was a tense one as a lengthy VAR check took place to rule out a possible foul by Dalbert in the build-up to the goal.
The goal itself stemmed from a woeful attempt at a cross-field ball from Sampdoria’s Antonio Candreva which was intercepted by Charalampos Lykogiannis before being fed to Dalbert, whose attempt had a hint of a follow through about it, thus prompting referee Matteo Marchetti to consult his peers.
Incidentally, Dalbert was replaced by Alessandro Deiola after the abovementioned contrast left him unable to play on, before Candreva had the chance to atone for his error almost immediately after the change, but his shot came back off the post on the 12th minute.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half saw little in terms of goal-scoring chances until a couple of glimpses at goal fell the way of Keita Balde and Razvan Marin. Keita Balde then saw his poked effort saved by Emil Audero on the 65th minute after some lovely one-touch play between himself and Joao Pedro.
Casteddu doubled their lead on the 74th minute via an unlikely source and in a fortunate manner. The ball fell to Martin Caceres after a free kick had only been half cleared to the Uruguayan defender who took a touch on the edge of the box before firing an effort off the backside of Thorsby and into the top corner, leaving Audero with no chance.
Thorsby made up for his misfortune when he pulled a goal back for Roberto D’Aversa’s men on the 81st minute. The midfielder made the most of being completely unmarked in the box to steer a header past Alessio Cragno.
The Ligurian side looked for the equaliser but substitute Federico Caputo was thwarted late on by Cragno, before D’aversa received his marching orders after believing that his striker had been hauled down in the box just before getting his shot away.
Joao Pedro struck his sixth of the season deep into injury time to seal a much-needed victory for the Sardinians, tapping in from a Nahitan Nandez cross which led to jubilation in the home end.