Radja Nainggolan returned to inspire Cagliari in a 4-2 victory over Torino, the second consecutive Sardinian success that puts them level with Verona.
Both sides were fresh from important wins that ended their long negative streaks, so could play with a little more confidence. Radja Nainggolan returned from injury, Luca Cigarini and Luca Ceppitelli from suspension, but Fabio Pisacane had fractured ribs. Coach Walter Zenga gave a surprise first start to 19-year-old defender Andrea Carboni. Toro missed Simone Zaza and Daniele Baselli, with Simone Verdi only fit for the bench.
Joao Pedro hit a scorcher not far wide in the opening minutes, before Nahitan Nandez gave Cagliari a deserved lead. A corner was only cleared as far as the edge of the box and he hit a fine right-foot volley into the near bottom corner.
Giovanni Simeone had the ball in the net with a tap-in, meeting the Charalampos Lykogiannis ball rolled across from the left flank. It was initially flagged offside, but a VAR check found he was level and Cagliari doubled their lead.
Torino came out of their shell after 25 minutes, Alessio Cragno making hard work of a Simone Edera free kick and Simeone doing just enough to prevent Bremer turning in the rebound.
Cragno did far better from point-blank range on Belotti after some lovely interplay with Alex Berenguer.
Cagliari were awarded a penalty on 42 minutes for Nicolas Nkoulou’s handling offence on a Nandez cross, but after the VAR on-field review, the referee recognised the ball hit the back of his shoulder and not his arm.
Not even a minute had passed after the restart and Cagliari were 3-0 up, as Nainggolan’s left-foot daisy-cutter went through Nkoulou’s legs and into the bottom corner past Salvatore Sirigu.
However, the Sardinians then rested on their laurels somewhat and were made to pay for that attitude. Cristian Ansaldi came off the bench and immediately his cross was knocked down by Ola Aina for an acrobatic Bremer finish.
Moments later, Andrea Belotti hit a fantastic low volley on a Simone Verdi corner after peeling away from his marker to make it 3-2.
However, Nkoulou was involved again when he clumsily tripped Luca Pellegrini and Joao Pedro converted the penalty to restore a two-goal cushion.
Verdi’s spectacular volley hit the woodwork, but he was a long way offside anyway.
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