Sampdoria coach Claudio Ranieri was unconvinced by the penalty or the red card that turned the match in Cagliari’s favour. ‘It was an uphill struggle from that point.’
The Blucerchiati were already down to 10 men when Joao Pedro converted a spot-kick after the restart, then Nahitan Nandez pounced on an error to seal the 2-0 result.
“We had been in control of the game until the red card and then the penalty. After that, it put the match in a situation that Cagliari wanted, able to strike on the counter and see more of the ball,” Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia.
“Unfortunately, when you are 10 against 11, they have an extra man who can help create something. We never gave up, we had some chances to get back into it, but it was an uphill struggle from that point.
“When Jakub Jankto stole the ball, if he’d put it right for Fabio Quagliarella, we were in.”
The turning point inevitably was the red card, as Tommaso Augello was at first booked and then it changed to a red after viewing the on-field monitor for bringing down Nahitan Nandez.
“I am not convinced by the penalty, as the players who were on the touchline said the assistant waved that it wasn’t a foul. Mind you, I never believe players, as they lie!” laughed Ranieri.
“I did accept the red card, as he was indeed the last man, so I did expect the referee to change that from a yellow to red. It’s Augello’s fault, certainly, but looking at it again, I think our goalkeeper could’ve got to the ball first.
“If the shoe had been on the other foot, I would’ve complained at not getting a red card for that! On the penalty, I don’t think I would’ve asked for that…”