Cagliari fought back to shock Roma with a spectacular 4-2 victory in Sardinia.
The Giallorossi had shaken a little after a Coppa Italia defeat to Juventus and surprise home draw with Bologna. Daniele De Rossi, Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, Marco Cassetti and Nicolas Burdisso were still on the treatment table. They faced Cagliari captain Daniele Conti, the son of Roma director Bruno.
Cagliari took the lead after six minutes when Thiago Ribeiro gathered wide left and cut in past Simon Kjaer to unleash a screamer under the bar.
It did not take long for Roma to draw level, as a corner was whipped on to the penalty spot for Juan to squirm away from his marker and thump in a powerful header.
Mauricio Pinilla was furious that his run clear on goal was halted by an incorrect offside decision.
Roma went in front for the first time, as Miralem Pjanic hit a fearsome free kick from a good 25 metres out. Michael Agazzi only parried it with his palms, straight into the path of a grateful Fabio Borini.
The Sardinians pegged it back to 2-2 before half-time thanks to Pinilla’s first goal in a Cagliari jersey. He caught the Roma defence unawares by running on to a cross-field ball, trapping it brilliantly and flashing the finish past an on-rushing Maarten Stekelenburg, in off the far post.
Cagliari turned it around to go 3-2 up straight after the restart. Thiago Ribeiro got his second of the game, springing the offside trap in acres of space and smashing the shot in off the underside of the crossbar despite Stekelenburg getting a hand to it. Replays suggest Thiago Ribeiro was marginally off when the ball was played.
There was controversy moments later in the Cagliari box, as Agazzi punched the ball away clumsily and clattered into Fabio Simplicio as he continued the run. Roma wanted a penalty, but the referee waved play on.
It should’ve been 3-3 at the 54th minute when Francesco Totti threaded an inspired pass through the defence, but Aleandro Rosi scuffed it well wide from six yards!
A corner was played back to the edge of the box for Fernando Gago’s volley that flashed inches past the post. Roma threatened again, as Rosi pulled back across the face of goal and Erik Lamela at full stretch just failed to get on the end of the ball.
Agazzi somehow managed to use his body to keep out Borini’s effort from point-blank range, parrying with the underside of his thigh. Kjaer was livid when he felt he’d been pulled back in the box by Davide Astori as he tried to get on the end of a cross.
Pjanic’s angled drive whistled just wide, then Victor Ibarbo’s spectacular overhead kick took a crucial deflection. Pjanic’s free kick shaved a coat of paint off the near post with Agazzi rooted to the spot.
Just as Roma were pouring forward, Cagliari struck on the counter, as Ibarbo got to the by-line and pulled back for Albin Ekdal’s tap-in to finish off the Giallorossi.