Inter needed an own goal to fight back for a 2-2 draw against Cagliari, but were denied a penalty in stoppages.
Andrea Stramaccioni needed to get his side back on track after their 10-match winning streak crashed to a halt against Atalanta. He welcomed back Walter Samuel, Andrea Ranocchia and Philippe Coutinho to the squad, though Wesley Sneijder, Fredy Guarin, Cristian Chivu, Dejan Stankovic and Joel Obi were out. Cagliari had won the first four games under Coach Ivo Pulga, but had been unfortunate to scrape one point from the last two rounds. Lorenzo Ariaudo was the only absentee in defence.
In the opening minute a corner came out to Diego Milito, who fired over the bar, then Juan Jesus nodded wide from a free kick. However, Cagliari very nearly took the lead, as Nene’s scorching volley from seven yards stung Samir Handanovic’s palms at the near post.
Rodrigo Palacio opened the scoring at the 10th minute when he snuck in behind Avelar to nod in an Antonio Cassano cross.
Cagliari were very much in the game and Radja Nainggolan should’ve done better on the counter-attack when curling it straight into Handanovic’s arms. The Inter goalkeeper had to flap a dangerous Davide Astori header over the bar, then Handanovic had to parry Nene’s powerful header from point-blank range.
During that move, Nene clashed heads with Juan Jesus and suffered a nasty cut above his eye, so he had to make way for Mauricio Pinilla.
Cagliari earned a deserved equaliser just before half-time, when Marco Sau sprung the offside trap by a matter of inches between the defenders and at full stretch prodded Andrea Cossu’s cross past Handanovic.
Milito jumped to volley a cross and forced a tough save out of Michael Agazzi, then Il Principe had a shot charged down in the box.
Milito incredibly failed to score on 54 minutes when Yuto Nagatomo rolled across for the unmarked striker, who somehow ballooned over an open goal from six yards!
Cagliari also wasted a golden opportunity moments later, as Cossu flicked on a pass for Sau at full stretch to volley inches over the bar.
Nagatomo created again by winning back possession in midfield and Milito stung Agazzi’s palms.
It was Cagliari who took the lead with a chaotic and determined move. Pinilla’s overhead kick went over Handanovic to hit the back post of an empty net, but Sau pounced on the rebound as Inter defenders scrambled to recover.
The Sardinians hadn’t won here in Serie A since May 1995, which was also a 2-1 result. Inter fought back and from a corner Ranocchia tested Agazzi at the near post.
The Nerazzurri were gifted an equaliser, as Ricky Alvarez rolled across an assist for his teammates, but Davide Astori accidentally kicked it into his own net when trying to clear.
Inter could now smell the win and poured forward with Agazzi denying Ranocchia from a corner. There were penalty appeals for an Astori foul on Ranocchia on the very edge of the box, but the referee waved play on. Coach Andrea Stramaccioni was sent off for his protests and it did seem to be a penalty.
It was a siege in stoppages, as Agazzi was at full stretch to flap away a Coutinho curler and there was a desperate goalline clearance.