Serie A Week 16 - 9 Dec 2012 (14.00 UK)
Cagliari 0 - 2 Chievo
Paloschi 67 (Ch), Thereau 87 (Ch)
Stadio IS Arenas

Cagliari dominated the match and had numerous scoring opportunities, but it was Chievo who emerged 2-0 winners.

This was a crunch relegation dogfight between two clubs who have improved since changing management. The Sardinians were without a win in four and suffered a thumping 4-1 defeat at Udinese last week, while Chievo finally won their first away match of the season in a thrilling 4-2 at Genoa. Daniele Dessena and Albin Ekdal were suspended for the home side, Marco Andreolli for the visitors, who also missed Cruzado, Luciano, Kamil Vacek and Nicolas Frey.

Isaac Cofie thought he had given Chievo the lead after nine minutes, but he was offside when Cyril Thereau set him up for a tap-in.

Gennaro Sardo went off with a muscular injury to make way for Bostjan Jokic in the Chievo defence.

Danilo Avelar had two chances in quick succession for Cagliari, but the first was beaten away and the follow-up flashed past the far post.

A stunning Alberto Paloschi curler whistled inches past the upright. Stefano Sorrentino needed two great saves in quick succession on Mauricio Pinilla and a Marco Sau volley, then stuck out a foot to deny Daniele Conti before the break.

In first half stoppages Sorrentino out-did himself, as Nainggolan pounced on a defensive error and Boukary’s clearance was straight at Sau, but the goalkeeper stuck up his trailing hand when falling the wrong way to somehow keep out the finish.

After the restart Pinilla’s shot looked to be going in, but was accidentally charged down by teammate Andrea Cossu.

Francesco Pisano was also unlucky, as his shot on the half-volley beat Sorrentino only to smack against the post.

Pinilla was again denied by a deflection when clear on goal, while Sau’s header also thumped the upright.

However, for all the Cagliari pressure, it was Chievo who took the lead with their first real chance of the game. A Perparim Hetemaj cross found Alberto Paloschi for a cushioned header at the back post, taking advantage of Pisano being slow to intervene.

Cagliari continued to pour forward, but Sorrentino smothered a Pisano header. They were finally doomed to defeat by an absolutely magnificent Thereau free kick curled over the wall into the near top corner, where Agazzi just could not reach.

Cagliari: Agazzi; F Pisano, Ariaudo, Astori, Avelar; Nainggolan, Conti, Casarini (Ibarbo 74); Cossu; Sau (Ribeiro 73), Pinilla
Chievo: Sorrentino; Sardo (Jokic 26), Cesar, Dainelli (Farkas 60), Dramé; Cofie, L Rigoni, Guana, Hetemaj; Paloschi, Thereau (Papp 89)
Ref: Russo