Lazio dominated this match in Sardinia, though they had a real scare when Mauricio Pinilla missed a penalty.
The Biancocelesti were in crisis after Europa League elimination, a home defeat to Atalanta and on-going fan protests. It was almost a relief to be playing away from the Olimpico, even though the Stadio Sant’Elia still only hosts 5,000 thanks to restructuring work. Antonio Candreva was suspended with Helder Postiga, Ederson, Andre Dias and Brayan Perea sidelined. Cagliari had Davide Astori and Danilo Avelar banned.
Federico Marchetti returned to face his former club and was called into action early on by an Andrea Cossu curler that was heading towards the top corner.
Lazio took the lead in Sardinia with a well-worked move, as Miroslav Klose flicked on for Senad Lulic to burst between the defenders and beat Vlada Avramov at the near post, one-on-one.
Alvaro Gonzalez went for goal at the back stick and nodded wide when he should’ve put it back into the centre for Klose in a much better position.
Victor Ibarbo went on one of his trademark runs, but the finish was not enough to beat Marchetti. Keita Balde Diao cut in from the left for his shot to be charged down in the penalty area.
Abdoulay Konko was tripped by Daniele Conti on the very edge of the box, then Avramov had to rush out to clear from the ever-dangerous Keita.
In the second half Daniele Dessena crucially intercepted a Klose cross to Lulic, then Keita’s long-range screamer was inches over the bar. Klose burst into the box only to lose his footing and hit the side-netting from six yards.
Avramov even needed his chest to parry yet another Keita effort from a tight angle, but Lazio were made to pay for wasting their dominance.
Alvaro Gonzalez was booked for tripping Matias Vecino from behind and giving away a penalty. However, Mauricio Pinilla was even more wasteful, as he drilled the spot-kick wide of the upright.
Lazio took the hint and immediately gave themselves a two-goal cushion, as Keita ran through the middle on a Klose slide-rule pass and kept his cool to blast past Avramov.
Cagliari made the situation even worse, as captain Daniele Conti was sent off for jumping with an elbow up on Lucas Biglia.
Missed penalty: Pinilla 68 (C)
Sent off: Conti 77 (C)