It was all square at the Stadio Sant’Elia as Daniele Conti’s spot-kick cancelled out his earlier error, but Marco Di Vaio scored his first goal from open play in eight months.
This was a relegation dogfight between teams who already chopped and changed their Coaches this season. Cagliari were on their third tactician and Davide Ballardini had lost both fixtures at the helm. He missed Nene and Davide Biondini, but welcomed back Andrea Cossu. Bologna had Gaby Mudingayi suspended, Cruz and Diego Perez injured.
Lorenzo Ariaudo had the first chance with his header over the bar and Jean-Francois Gillet blocked a fierce Daniele Conti free kick.
Gaston Ramirez hit a viciously curling free kick from 25 yards that was deflected just past the upright.
Cagliari hit the frame of the goal on the stroke of half-time. Victor Ibarbo spring the offside trap and drew out the goalkeeper, but his finish struck the base of the upright of the open goal.
Michele Canini deflected an Albin Ekdal cross off target from close range, then Gillet parried Joaquin Larrivey’s attempt at the near post with his legs.
Ibarbo went on the counter and fell in the box in a collision with Nico Pulzetti, but was booked for simulation and going in with a high elbow. An audacious Larrivey overhead kick was off target, though Portanova’s handling offence could well have been worthy of a penalty. At the same time, Daniele Conti risked a second yellow card for his obvious shirt-tug on Panagiotis Kone.
Bologna took the lead when the Cagliari defence was caught napping. Michael Agazzi performed a fine save, but from the corner Conti prodded a cross straight into the path of Marco Di Vaio to chip the goalkeeper from seven yards. It was Di Vaio’s first goal from open play in 18 games.
Cagliari received a penalty thanks to some clumsy defending on a free kick, as Niccolo’ Cherubin appeared to tug Conti’s shirt, though it could be argued there were worse fouls in this match. Conti got back up and buried the spot-kick to equalise, Cagliari’s first home goal in over 440 minutes of football.
Both sides poured forward in the final minutes, as the win was there for the taking. Gaston Ramirez burst between Ariaudo and Agostini to fire over, then Ibarbo went on a blazing solo run and his fierce right-foot drive was acrobatically palmed over the bar by Gillet.