Marco Sau’s brace completed a Cagliari comeback to win in stoppages, but Genoa are livid about Thomas Manfredini’s red card.
The Grifone were in fine form since Gian Piero Gasperini took over, earning three wins and two draws in the last five rounds. Francelino Matuzalem sat out a ban with Mario Alberto Santana sidelined, so Francesco Lodi got a rare start. The Sardinians needed a boost to break away from the danger zone, though Victor Ibarbo was out injured.
Mauricio Pinilla accidentally got in the way of teammate Danilo Avelar’s strike and Daniele Dessena also had a volley charged down in the area by Daniele Portanova.
However, it was Genoa who took the lead with their first real chance of the game. Alberto Gilardino sprung the offside trap on Lodi’s pass over the top, held off Avelar’s challenge and prodded past the goalkeeper with the outside of his boot.
Mattia Perin had to rush out and flap the ball off Marco Sau’s foot after a defensive error. Gila ran on to another Vrsaljko ball over the top, but this time shinned the volley.
There was huge controversy before the break. Daniele Conti was visibly shoving and pulling Thomas Manfredini, who did not react to the provocation. The referee booked them both and it was Manfredini’s second card, leaving Genoa with 10 men.
After the restart Luca Antonini charged down a Radja Nainggolan volley with his chest, then Perin needed a stunning fingertip save to push Conti’s overhead kick out from under the bar.
It was a siege on Perin’s goal and he got down brilliantly to palm a long-range Ibraimi scorcher round the base of the upright.
Genoa still had the chance to double their lead on the counter-attack, but Vlada Avramov parried from Antonini.
Cagliari did eventually equalise against 10-man Genoa. Sau sprung the offside trap on a ball over the top and dribbled round two defenders to beat Perin.
Cagliari kept pushing and deep into stoppages managed to get the victory against frustrated 10-man Genoa. Nene’s overhead kick was wayward, but turned into an assist for Sau at the back post.
The situation got to some of Genoa’s players, as a brawl broke out after the final whistle between Antonini and Conti.
Sent off: Manfredini 43 (G)