Nahitan Nandez got Cagliari’s equaliser with practically the last kick of the game, stunning Napoli after a Victor Osimhen opener.
The Champions League and relegation battles crossed paths, as Napoli needed a win to retain third place and maybe even go second, while the Sardinians were in the drop zone along with Benevento and Torino. David Ospina and Faouzi Ghoulam were still out of action, while Cagliari had Razvan Marin suspended, but Radja Nainggolan returned from his ban and Alessio Cragno crucially had recovered from COVID-19.
Napoli found the breakthrough when Lorenzo Insigne floated a ball over the top for Victor Osimhen, who controlled between Diego Godin and Gabriele Zappa to sweep past Cragno with the inside of the left boot.
Cagliari fought back and Zappa cracked the base of the upright from close range after good work from Nainggolan, while Chucky Lozano nodded just wide from an Osimhen cross.
Cagliari came so close to an equaliser before half-time, as Leonardo Pavoletti’s towering header forced a desperate save from Alex Meret, then Nahitan Nandez turned the rebound onto the post from a yard.
Osimhen should’ve had another goal when nodding wide from point-blank range on a Piotr Zielinski cross, then he acrobatically flicked over the bar from a Lozano header and Zielinski tested Cragno at the near post.
Diego Demme saw his screamer smash against the crossbar with Cragno beaten.
Napoli threatened again, Osimhen putting the ball in the net only after he’d shoved Godin out the way.
It was wide open, Charalampos Lykogiannis nodding the Nainggolan cross wide, Zielinski’s shot stinging Meret’s gloves, but there was a nasty clash of heads between Osimhen and Luca Ceppitelli.
Cagliari threw on all their forwards and it almost worked, because Meret required a sensational one-handed reaction save to deny Pavoletti’s acrobatic volley.
Not for the first time, the Sardinians snatched a result with almost the last kick of the game. Alfred Duncan floated a ball over the top and found Nahitan Nandez to slide in relatively undisturbed at the back post.
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