Cagliari overturned a two-goal deficit to snatch a dramatic 4-3 victory over Sampdoria, courtesy of Alberto Cerri’s 96th-minute header.
Cagliari were without the suspended Fabrizio Cacciatore and Robin Olsen against Samp, who had similar issues at the back, forcing midfielder Morten Thorsby to start at right-back.
The match pit together two of Serie A’s most in-form sides, with both of them unbeaten in their last four fixtures.
It exploded into life in the 38th minute, when Fabio Quagliarella blasted a penalty into the top-left corner for his first goal since September after Luca Pellegrini had felled Manolo Gabbiadini from behind.
Not long after the interval, 29th-birthday boy Gaston Ramirez drove a shot past Rafael from close range for 0-2, capitalising on a simple long ball.
Out of nowhere, however, Radja Nainggolan lived up to his billing as Serie A’s Player of the Month for November, firing home a daisy-cutter from distance.
Just as quickly, Samp hit back through Quagliarella, who netted a volley to continue to glut of quality goals.
But the Sardinians knew a win would move them into a Champions League place, and Joao Pedro got them on level terms with two well-taken finishes, first backheeling a flick into the far bottom corner before burying a Nainggolan cross.
Much had been made of Cerri’s €9m transfer fee last season, but the former Juventus striker came on to head in a Cagliari winner right at the death, with 96 minutes on the clock.
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