Cagliari fought back from a Kevin Lasagna opener to grab all three points and pull Udinese closer to the drop zone with their ninth straight defeat.
This was a head-to-head showdown to avoid sliding back into the relegation places and both were in total crisis mode. The Sardinians had two wins in their last 12, including three defeats on the bounce, while Udinese were on an all-time club record run of eight Serie A losses in a row.
Joao Pedro was suspended for the hosts with Diego Farias, Fabio Deiola and Daniele Dessena carrying knocks, while Valon Behrami and Gabriele Angella didn’t make the trip.
Cagliari have now won their last four home games against Udinese, since a 1-0 loss in April 2013.
The visitors had an aggressive start, Seko Fofana’s cross-shot flashing past both Kevin Lasagna and the far post, but he was ready to tap in the opener moments later when Antonin Barak dribbled from his own half, skipping past some weak tackles and rolling across for the goal.
Cagliari fought back, but Albano Bizzarri intercepted a dangerous low ball and Marco Sau then tried to slide on to a through ball, accidentally sitting on it instead.
Bram Nuytinck made a decisive block on Leonardo Pavoletti, but the deserved equaliser arrived when Luca Cigarini’s free kick bounced off the inside of the post and Pavoletti’s diving header was quickest to the rebound.
Lasagna limped off during the second half with a possible relapse of his muscular problem. Cagliari went close to turning the game around completely, as Marco Sau couldn’t get his head to a Niccolo Barella cross at the back post.
The goal was coming and defender Luca Ceppitelli rose above to crowd to nod in a Sau corner with just six minutes to go.
A scuffle broke out in the final minutes and Barella was booked, meaning he’ll be suspended against Inter in the midweek round.
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