Cagliari 2-2 Udinese

Serie A Week 36 – Stadio Sant’Elia – Ref: Ciampi
Cagliari 2-2 Udinese – Lazzari 15 (C), Di Natale 26 (U), Sanchez 28 (U), Jeda 58 (C)

Cagliari fought back in an exciting four-goal thriller that saw many more scoring opportuities from both sides.

These teams were tied together on 42 points and could consider themselves safe from relegation, but also disappointed considering they had hoped for a place in Europe. New Cagliari Coach Giorgio Melis was still unbeaten, albeit looking for his first win, after two games. He had to do without the suspended Andrea Cossu, plus Diego Lopez and Francesco Pisano.

Udinese were on stunning form with 18 points from 11 rounds and Antonio Di Natale chasing the Capocannoniere crown. Gaetano D’Agostino, Dusan Basta, Chris Obodo, Andrea Coda and Giovanni Pasquale were sidelined.

Cristian Zapata crucially intercepted a Daniele Conti pass that would’ve released Alessandro Matri.

Cagliari broke the deadlock when Davide Biondini flicked a ball over the top to release Nelson Jeda and his chipped cross found Andrea Lazzari for a free header at the back post. The Udinese defence was caught out of shape.

Di Natale started the fightback by forcing Federico Marchetti into a diving save from his acrobatic finish.

The Friulani equalised thanks to their hitman Di Natale. A Simone Pepe through ball allowed him to spring the offside trap and he kept his cool to stroke it past Marchetti from close range.

Just 90 seconds later it was 2-1 for Udinese! Pepe’s free kick was floated in from the left flank to find Alexis Sanchez totally unmarked for a free header from six yards. The Cagliari defence was nowhere to be seen, although there are suspicions of offside, as Maurizio Domizzi may well have been interfering with play.

Joaquin Larrivey should’ve equalised on 36 minutes. Jeda’s pass sent him one-on-one with Samir Handanovic, but his first touch let him down horribly.

Within seconds of the restart Handanovic required a spectacular save. Matri thought he had scored from point-blank range, but the goalkeeper somehow parried.

Moments later Handanovic again kept out Matri in a one-on-one, then forced another difficult save from the Udinese shot-stopper in what was basically a siege.

It was only 11 minutes into the second half, but Handanovic needed a fifth save to flap away Matri’s cross-shot for Jeda.

Cagliari finally equalised in chaotic fashion. Lazzari’s through ball released Matri who – surprise surprise – was denied by Handanovic’s outstretched foot from point-blank range, but there was nothing to be done on Jeda’s follow-up.

More bad news for Udinese, who lost substitute Badu to injury just 25 minutes after he came off the bench. Michele Canini used his body to charge down a Di Natale effort.

Cagliari: Marchetti; Dessena, Canini, Astori, Agostini; Conti, Biondini, Lazzari (Ragatzu 75); Jeda (Barone 84); Larrivey (Nainggolan 46), Matri
Udinese: Handanovic; Ferronetti (Badu 50) (Cuadrado 75), Zapata, Domizzi, Lukovic; Isla, Inler, Asamoah; Sanchez, Di Natale, Pepe (Floro Flores 86)

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