SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 4 - 18 Oct 2020 (14.00 UK)
Torino 2 - 3 Cagliari
Belotti pen 4, 49 (T), Joao Pedro 12 (C), Simeone 19, 73 (C)
Stadio Grande Torino

Andrea Belotti’s brace was not enough, as Torino’s disastrous season took another dismal turn with this 3-2 home defeat against Cagliari.

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The build-up to this game was overshadowed by COVID-19, as the Granata confirmed another new case just hours before kick-off, so between injuries and illness missed Simone Zaza, Armando Izzo and Daniele Baselli. Federico Bonazzoli created a new partnership with Andrea Belotti, while Cagliari had to do without Gaston Pereiro, Simone Pinna and Luca Ceppitelli.

Within three minutes, Sasa Lukic had gone clear on goal and was brought down by Alessio Cragno for a penalty. Andrea Belotti converted by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to put Toro in front.

However, Cagliari immediately responded, first Salvatore Sirigu parrying a Marko Marin effort into the path of Giovanni Simeone, prevented from tapping in by Lyanco, then the equaliser came from a corner.

It was a chaotic move, pulled back from the by-line and taking a couple of ricochets for Joao Pedro to eventually slide in from four yards.

Cagliari turned it around completely within five minutes thanks to some more static defending. Nahitan Nandez burst down the right, rolled it across and a failed Lyanco interception allowed Simeone time to control, turn and fire into the top corner from 12 yards.

Ricardo Rodriguez had a pop from distance, but Cagliari seemed more in control of the match and Riccardo Sottil couldn’t get the finish Nandez’s assist warranted.

Belotti completed his brace and got Torino level at the dawn of the second half, as a Vojvoda cross was glanced by Bonazzoli and bounced a couple of times, so he waited and thumped it in from a tight angle at the back post on the half-volley.

Soualiho Meite tested Cragno from distance and fired over, but Cagliari restored their advantage when Sirigu horribly fumbled a low Nandez cross, allowing Simeone to tap in the loose ball.

Cragno got his fingertips to another dangerous Vojvoda cross, taking it away from Belotti at the back stick, while Belotti couldn’t keep his header on target under pressure from Tomas Rincon’s assist.

Torino had penalty appeals for a possible handball on Simone Verdi’s free kick, prompting a red card for dissent to goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic on the bench.

The drama kept going to the last kick of the game, as Verdi blasted over from 12 yards, then Belotti thought he’d completed a hat-trick and made it 3-3 with a trademark bicycle-kick at the back post, but Cragno performed a crucial save.

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Torino: Sirigu; Vojvoda (Singo 79), Nkoulou, Lyanco, Rodriguez (Murru 88); Meite (Verdi 79), Rincon, Linetty (Ansaldi 88); Lukic; Belotti, Bonazzoli
Cagliari: Cragno; Zappa, Walukiewicz, Godin, Lykogiannis; Marin, Rog (Klavan 90); Nandez, Joao Pedro (Caligara 84), Sottil (Ounas 84); Simeone (Pavoletti 77)
Ref: La Penna