Cagliari 2-2 Palermo (Lega Calcio)

Cagliari 2-2 Palermo
Cossu 28 (C), Jeda 87 (C), Miccoli 89 (P), Hernandez 95 (P)
Stadio Sant’Elia

Cagliari thought they had earned their first win since February on the debut of Coach Giorgio Melis, but Palermo wiped out a 2-0 gap in stoppages!

The Derby delle Isole meant a great deal for both clubs. Cagliari sacked Massimiliano Allegri this week after picking up just two points from nine games, although the more likely reason is he was ‘distracted’ by offers from top sides. Primavera youth team Coach Giorgio Melis made his debut with former player Gianluca Festa. The Rosanero were still in joint fourth place with Sampdoria and had to improve their away record to make it into the Champions League.

The Sardinians had Daniele Conti and Michele Canini suspended, plus Diego Lopez injured. The visitors missed Mark Bresciano, Fabio Simplicio, Cesare Bovo, Manuele Blasi and Giovanni Tedesco, but Fabrizio Miccoli was surprisingly benched.

Salvatore Sirigu got down to beat away a Daniele Dessena snapshot from distance. At the other end Federico Marchetti controlled at Edinson Cavani’s feet.

On 27 minutes Marchetti needed stunning reflexes to palm a Goian header on to the crossbar from Federico Balzaretti’s cross. It was a bullet header from point-blank range.

Moments later, Cagliari got the opening goal instead. A cross from the corner flag found Andrea Cossu’s wonderful volley, but it wouldn’t have beaten Sirigu without a large deflection off Goian.

Sirigu prevented a second by parrying Nene’s header soon after, while Cossu’s first touch let him down on the counter and allowed Simon Kjaer to clear.

On the stroke of half-time, Marchetti again got down very well to parry Goian’s towering header from a corner, as Cagliari struggled on set plays.

Sirigu took two attempts to get Nene’s right-foot effort under control. Javier Pastore’s powerful strike stung Marchetti’s palms from distance after a defensive error.

Goian’s diving header whistled wide, but it was Cagliari who put the result under lock and key in the final minutes.

Fabio Liverani’s error sparked a counter and Nelson Jeda kept his cool to place the angled drive across Sirigu into the far bottom corner.

Palermo didn’t give in and pulled one back moments later. Miccoli pounced on a loose ball in the box following a lucky deflection.

Incredibly, it was almost 2-2 after 60 seconds! Igor Budan forced Marchetti into a desperate save from point-blank range. At the other end Alessandro Matri’s right-foot shot was parried by Sirigu’s outstretched foot.

At the 93rd minute Giulio Migliaccio’s header from a Miccoli free kick cracked the crossbar!

Palermo got their equaliser in the final minute of injury time! Astori only got a touch to a cross from the right and Abel Hernandez rose for the header – the last kick of the game.
Cagliari: Marchetti; Pisano (Marzoratti 59), Astori, Ariaudo, Agostini; Dessena, Parola, Lazzari; Cossu (Jeda 77); Nene’, Ragatzu (Matri 57)

Palermo: Sirigu; Cassani, Kjaer, Goian, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Liverani (Budan 89), Nocerino (Bertolo 80); Pastore; Hernandez, Cavani (Miccoli 63)

Ref: Rocchi