Chievo secured their Serie A status with this essential victory in Sardinia, thanks to veteran Dario Dainelli.
The Sardinians were already safe, but the Flying Donkeys needed a victory to avoid leaving their Serie A status to the last round. Sergio Pellissier started his three-match ban, while Michele Canini was sidelined. Cagliari had Marco Silvestri and Daniele Conti suspended, plus Matias Vecino, Mauricio Pinilla, Eros Pisano, Matias Cabrera, Albin Ekdal, Nene and Adryan out of action. Michael Agazzi faced his former club and Tabanelli got his first Serie A start.
Agazzi immediately made his mark with a stunning save on Gabriele Perico’s dangerous swerving header from a corner, palming it out of the far corner. The move continued and Nicola Murru’s glancing header whistled wide.
Chievo were forced into an early substitution for the injured Gennaro Sardo and Andrea Cossu’s snapshot skimmed the woodwork.
Alberto Paloschi saw his header charged down and Agazzi punched a corner away for Cossu’s acrobatic follow-up to sail just over the bar.
Before the break Vlada Avramov needed a great save on Cyril Thereau, even though the French striker was offside.
Luca Rigoni picked up a yellow card and will be suspended for Chievo’s last game of the season against Inter.
Cagliari had penalty appeals for a Boukary Drame handling offence, but it was from point-blank range on Perico.
Drame tried to go for goal at the other end with an effort smothered by Avramov.
Chievo were putting a little more pressure on in the second half and it paid off, as a corner found Dario Dainelli’s header with Avramov completely mistiming the run off his line.
Tabanelli thought he had drawn Cagliari level with a wonderful free kick, but Agazzi flew to claw it out of the near top corner.