Cagliari crushed Udinese 3-0 to put an end to their crisis with Victor Ibarbo, Matias Vecino and Agim Ibraimi on target.
Both sides were hovering between mid-table security and the danger zone, so could not afford to relax. The Friulani hoped to extend their four-match unbeaten run, but were withour Andrea Lazzari, Igor Bubnjic and the suspended Maurizio Domizzi. The Sardinians had Daniele Conti and Albin Ekdal banned, so Andrea Cossu again took a deeper midfield role.
Cagliari midfielder Daniele Dessena received a few abusive messages on Twitter when wearing rainbow laces in an anti-homophobia campaign, so the initiative has spread this weekend with many players, Coaches and journalists sporting the gay rights symbol.
Antonio Di Natale should’ve scored after 17 minutes when Giampiero Pinzi burst down the left and pulled back, but the veteran fired inches over the bar from 12 yards.
It was to prove costly, as moments later Victor Ibarbo gave Cagliari the lead. He chested down the Davide Astori ball with his back to goal, spun round and immediately hit a low volley to wrong-foot defenders and goalkeeper.
Di Natale went close again at the end of a well-worked move, his shot parried by Vlada Avramov’s shin at the near post. The veteran went very close again, his lob fingertipped on to the crossbar by Avramov at full stretch.
After the restart Naldo just failed to get his head to a corner after an unconvincing Avramov intervention and Danilo had a similar opportunity.
Avramov did better to beat away a Dusan Basta snapshot, then Scuffet had to rush off his line to charge down Danilo Avelar’s effort after a poor Pinzi clearance.
Ibarbo’s wonderful nutmeg pass set up substitute Nene, who fired wide from six yards under pressure from Thomas Heurtaux.
Udinese had a fantastic opportunity to score on 79 minutes when Nico Lopez pounced on an Avramov indecision, but the young Uruguayan tried to set up Di Natale rather than go for goal himself and it was intercepted.
Once again, the visitors were made to pay for those mistakes. Cagliari doubled their lead when an Ibraimi free kick was whipped in from the right and found Matias Vecino totally unmarked to volley in from 12 yards.
The Sardinians finished the game off with a great goal from Agim Ibraimi, who went on the counter to curl into the far top corner from the edge of the box.