Serie A Club of the Round – Cagliari


In a round where few top teams squared off against each other, Cagliari ended up having the most impressive outing of the weekend. They had a brutal record on the road thus far, but partly atoned in the match-up against Chievo, which at this point is a boon for everybody. They had won in the last three home matches, keeping the relegation strugglers at bay. Rolando Maran picked Cyril Thereau to replace the suspended Leonardo Pavoletti, recovered Luca Pellegrini on the left flank and confirmed Fabrizio Cacciatore over Darijo Srna on the other one.

Chievo had actually a far more convincing start of the game, but could not break through in the first 15 minutes, where they basically laid siege, and the Sardinians struck at their first attempt and never looked back. Fabio Pisacane broke the deadlock by sneaking unguarded between defenders and connecting on a long cross by Luca Pellegrini off a corner kick action for an easy header from the edge of six-yard box.

The Flying Donkeys seemed shook for the rest of the first half and the Rossoblù capitalized, carried by a nearly uncontainable Nicolò Barella. The starlet ripped out a great solo counter at 33th minutes and set up Joao Pedro, who slotted it past Stefano Sorrentino in a one-on-one from just inside the box. The guests rounded up the score just before half time, this time with Artur Ionita, who outmuscled Fabio Depaoli on a cross by Fabrizio Cacciatore and bagged a superb diving header.

The locals’ young right back was sent off ten minutes into the second half, further facilitating Cagliari’s job in managing the game. They had a pair of scares on attempts by Mariusz Stepinski and particularly by Mehdi Leris on a gorgeous volley, but Alessio Cragno answered the bell once again and put his stamp on a rare shutout win. They had yet to keep a clean sheet in 2019.

A great haul in the fantasy game thanks to multiple scorers and helpers and the fact that they did not concede: Fabio Pisacane paced his squad with nine points, followed by Alessio Cragno, Pellegrini and Cacciatore with seven, as both fullbacks teed up a teammate, and then by Pedro and Ionita, who amassed six, Ceppitelli (5) and Barella (4). Paolo Faragò and Luca Cigarini earned just one because they were booked.

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