Marco Sau bagged a brace to give Cagliari a potentially decisive victory in Pescara for a relegation six-pointer.
Both Coaches described this game as “a relegation play-off” and it is easy to see why, as only four points separated these teams who were in the bottom five. The Delfini missed Togni, Alessandro Sforzini, Uros Cosic and Juan Fernando Quintero. Cagliari welcomed Radja Nainggolan and Danilo Avelar back from suspension, only to lose Daniele Conti, Davide Astori and Daniele Dessena to bans.
Cagliari had penalty appeals after seven minutes, but it seemed to be a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge between Albin Ekdal and Manuele Blasi.
Avelar fired straight at the goalkeeper, while Gaetano D’Agostino and Ekdal efforts were off target. Victor Ibarbo did brilliantly to gather with his back to goal and spin round, forcing Mattia Perin into the save.
Casarini attempted an audacious shot on the volley from at least 25 metres, which Perin struggled to flap out from under the bar.
Vladimir Weiss returned to the line-up and immediately made himself heard, as a fierce rising angled drive was palmed on to the far post by Michael Agazzi.
Perin had to smother a deflected Avelar effort straight after the restart, but Cagliari finally broke through with Marco Sau.
A Cossu cross was whipped in from the right and three Cagliari players sprung the offside trap, Sau getting there first for a looping header from six yards back across the face of goal.
Perin turned another Cossu effort out for a corner, as the Sardinians doulbed their lead. Federico Casarini jumped over a Radja Nainggolan cross to confuse defenders, letting it through for Sau to turn Bianchi Arce and sweep home from the penalty spot.
Pescara fans staged a protest, as the entire Curva walked out 16 minutes from time. Pescara lost their heads too, as Weiss was shown a straight red card for a horrible tackle from behind on Ibarbo.
Sent off: Weiss 91 (P)