Serie A Week 8 - 20 Oct 2019 (14.00 UK)
Cagliari 2 - 0 Spal
Nainggolan 9 (C), Faragò 66 (C)
Sardegna Arena

Cagliari leapfrog Roma into fifth place, with Radja Nainggolan’s absolute stunner the star of the show against SPAL.

The Sardinians were unbeaten in five, but drew their last two games, including a fiery and controversial 1-1 at Roma. Fabrizio Cacciatore joined Leonardo Pavoletti, Alessio Cragno, Ragnar Klavan and Charalampos Lykogiannis on the treatment table, while Gabriel Strefezza was suspended for the visitors.

Robin Olsen made a good save on Sergio Floccari’s diving header, although it would’ve been ruled offside anyway, but Cagliari broke through in some style.

Nainggolan had scored a not dissimilar strike for Inter last season, as he chested down a loose ball and hit a ground to air missile of a volley into the far top corner from 20-25 metres out. It was simply unstoppable and a sensational goal from Ninja.

Etrit Berisha fumbled a Marko Rog snapshot and scrambled it back under control, while Olsen got down very well to palm a Jasmin Kurtic header off the line from a corner.

Lucas Castro had a knock to the head and made way for Nahitan Nandez for the second half. Giovanni Simeone failed to get on the end of a Luca Pellegrini taut cross and Nainggolan almost completed his brace on 64 minutes, but a low drive bounced off the upright with Berisha beaten.

It was only a warning, as Cagliari did double their lead moments later. Floccari was caught in possession in midfield, Paolo Faragò on his comeback from injury surged forward and drilled past the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Berisha kept the scoreline down with a reaction save on Rog’s scorcher, which had seemingly wrong-footed the goalkeeper.

Giovanni Simeone blasted over from a Nahitan Nandez assist, while Mattia Valoti was set up by Floccari, but his first touch was poor and he prodded it inches wide.

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Cagliari: Olsen; Faragò (Klavan 82), Pisacane, Ceppitelli, Pellegrini; Castro (Nandez 46), Cigarini, Rog; Nainggolan (Ionita 71); Joao Pedro, Simeone
Spal: Berisha; Tomovic, Vicari (Cionek 65), Igor; Sala (Valoti 60), Missiroli, Valdifiori (Moncini 78), Kurtic, Reca; Floccari, Petagna
Ref: Chiffi