Serie A Club of the Week – Round 11

Cagliari snatched by far the best win over the weekend, toppling Atalanta away while keeping a clean sheet and therefore they easily take home in this matchday.

They came into the match riding an eight-game undefeated streak, but they had equalized three times in the last five fixtures. Rolando Maran gave a day off to Luca Cigarini and Nahitan Nandez in the midfield and started Christian Oliva and Lucas Castro, while Ragnar Klavan and Charalampos Lykogiannis filled in for the absent Luca Ceppitelli and Luca Pellegrini in the back. Fabrizio Cacciatore returned to the XI over Paolo Faragò.

Giovanni Simeone escaped past the back-line just two minutes into the tilt, but his potent shot was batted away by Pierluigi Gollini. Marko Rog had a similar opportunity at the 20th minute mark, but Berat Djimsiti got in the way of a very promising shot.

They broke the deadlock at the 31st minute, after Timothy Castagne sent a cross-shot from good position wide: on a sharp free kick from the left flank by Lykogiannis, the ball was deflected into the net by two Bergamaschi, first José-Luis Palomino and then Mario Pasalic, giving no chance to the goalie.

Alejandro Gomez rattled the crossbar from distance and the ball bounced over the goal after hitting Robin Olsen’s back. The game further steered in the Sardinian’s direction at the 39th minute, as Josip Ilicic kicked Lykogiannis from behind after the two got tangled up and was sent off by the referee.

The Rossoblù resisted to the Orobici’s pressure and bit them on a counter early in the second half as Simeone and Oliva interplayed beautifully inside the box and the midfield buried it with a cross-shot. All in all, they had an easy time stopping what is usually a high wattage offense as Ruslan Malinovskyi was the only one who had it going. The only real chance belonged to Hans Hateboer, but he sent it wide, while Nandez was denied by Gollini on another fast-break.

Cagliari earned their third victory in the last four games, leapfrogged Napoli and are on a par with the Goddess and Lazio in the standings in a three-way tie in fourth position.

They assembled a rich haul fantasy-wise, with Olsen leading the way with seven points since they did not concede, followed by Oliva, Pisacane, Cacciatore and Klavan with five, while Lykogiannis gathered four since he was booked. Two points also for Simeone, who set up a goal, and the numerous midfielders that saw action in this one, but Marko Rog who was yellow carded.

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