Daniele Gastaldello’s early goal gave Sampdoria the points, but Cagliari had a goal incorrectly disallowed.
The Blucerchiati were buoyed by their Derby della Lanterna victory over rivals Genoa on Monday night, while Cagliari had shocked Fiorentina. Both sides were mid-table and wanted one final push to put the relegation threat well and truly behind them.
Shkodran Mustafi and Daniele Dessena were suspended, while Victor Ibarbo had his appendix removed last week. Maxi Lopez and Mauricio Pinilla were also sidelined, so Nene and Stefano Okaka returned from injury lay-offs. Referee Diego Roca made his Serie A debut.
Sampdoria broke the deadlock early on, as a corner was floated in by Vasco Regini for Daniele Gastaldello’s downward header at the back post.
There was controversy on 20 minutes when Marco Sau ran on to a Daniele Conti free kick to fire past Da Costa, as his goal was ruled offside. Replays suggest it was an extremely tight decision, as teammate Rossettini might’ve been off instead.
Gastaldello did well to charge down another Sau effort and Manolo Gabbiadini fired straight at Vlada Avramov from an Eder assist.
Straight after the restart Sau had penalty appeals for a Fornasier challenge, then Da Costa was at full stretch to palm a dangerous Nene cross-shot away from goal.
Gabbiadini’s left-foot shot skimmed the upright on an Okaka counter-attack assist, while Sau skipped past Gastaldello only to scuff his finish at Da Costa.
Samp hung on, but had to play the last five minutes practically with 10 men as Lorenzo De Silvestri was hobbling badly.