Lazio dominated much of the game at the Stadio Sant’Elia, but were wasteful in attack and eventually ran some risks in Cagliari.
The Aquile were soaring in fourth place after four consecutive victories, but made the trip to Sardinia without Federico Marchetti, Bastos and suspended Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Cagliari had an injury crisis, missing Marco Borriello, Nicolo Barella, Marco Capuano, Luca Ceppitelli and Federico Melchiorri.
Lazio had won eight of their previous nine meetings with Cagliari, home and away, scoring 11 goals in the last three encounters.
The hosts were forced into a substitution almost immediately when captain Daniele Dessena picked up a muscular problem.
Ciro Immobile scuffed a promising loose ball straight into Rafael’s arms after a Welsey Hoedt header and Cagliari defending became increasingly ramshackle as time wore on.
Substitute Paolo Faragò ran the real risk of a second yellow card before half-time for his trip on Keita Balde Diao. The Senegal international’s effort was deflected off target after the restart and his back-heel flick set up Marco Parolo for a deflected strike wide.
Rafael fingertipped a Parolo cross off the head of Immobile at the far post, then Senad Lulic on the counter managed to roll across only for Felipe Anderson’s weak finish.
Lazio continued the surprisingly fruitless siege and were almost caught out at the other end when Joao Pedro ballooned over from a promising position.
Cagliari gained confidence towards the end and had an incredibly chance when Simone Padoin horribly scuffed his angled drive.
The Sardinians had penalty appeals in the final minutes for a Senad Lulic tackle on Diego Farias waved away.