It was a crazy 2-2 draw for Cagliari with three goals in stoppages, an incorrectly disallowed Sampdoria goal and goalkeeping howlers.
Once again, this game was played at the Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste, as the Sant’Elia has still not completed reconstruction. The Sardinians picked Mauricio Pinilla to partner Marco Sau, while Samp had to replace the injured Eder with 21-year-old Pavel Wszolek surprisingly given his Serie A debut.
The Blucerchiati were still smarting after their disastrous 3-0 defeat to arch rivals Genoa and got off to a strong start, as Pedro Obiang drilled inches wide from distance after 30 seconds.
However, it didn’t last long, as Cagliari quickly took control of the ball and pinned Samp back into their own half. Pinilla just failed to get the final touch as Gabriele Perico’s pass flashed across the face of goal.
The deadlock was eventually broken in spectacular fashion by midfielder Albin Ekdal. He surged up the middle and tore the defence apart thanks to a give-and-go with Pinilla before smashing an unstoppable finish under the bar.
Sampdoria had every right to feel hard done by on 37 minutes, as their equaliser was disallowed for an incorrect offside decision. Wszolek thought he had scored his debut Serie A goal when getting on the end of Gavazzi’s pass rolled across from the left, but the linesman got that all wrong. Perico was clearly keeping him in play.
Ekdal’s long-range effort was not far off target, Radja Nainggolan’s shot was well captured under the bar and Agim Ibraimi made his Serie A debut for Cagliari.
Pinilla forced Junior Da Costa into another fine save, but Sampdoria snatched a last-minute equaliser in bizarre circumstances. Manolo Gabbiadini’s shot from the D was straight at the goalkeeper, but Michael Agazzi somehow let it squirm through his hands, between his legs and into the empty net. It was a shocking howler.
Just as Samp thought they had grabbed a point, Cagliari restored their advantage in stoppages. Daniele Conti curled a free kick round the ill-placed defensive wall and in at the base of the near post.
Pinilla tried an outrageous lob from midfield that landed on the roof of the net and Gabbiadini scuffed his shot straight at Agazzi from point-blank range, as either side could’ve had another goal in injury time.
Incredibly, Agazzi managed to get it all wrong again! The ball pinged around the box and Lorenzo De Silvestri’s shot took a deflection off Gabbiadini’s thigh, so the goalkeeper got a hand to it, but it bounced backwards over the line!