Massimo Gobbi’s first goal for 100 Serie A games was enough for Chievo to doom Cagliari to another away defeat.
Only one point separated the sides in mid-table and a bad result could see them slide towards the danger zone. Both were coming off defeats and the Sardinians had the worst defensive record in Serie A, so missing Fabio Pisacane, Nicola Murru, Panagiotis Tachtsidis, Artur Ionita, Joao Pedro and suspended Daniele Dessena added to their problems. The hosts were without Valter Birsa, Perparim Hetemaj and banned Dario Dainelli. Diego Farias had his first start of the season after an injury lay-off.
Cagliari have still never won away to Chievo in Serie A, managing six draws and five defeats here.
There was bad news right away for the Flying Donkeys, as Antonio Floro Flores pulled up with a hamstring strain after just seven minutes and had to make way for Riccardo Meggiorini.
Massimo Gobbi failed to make the most of an inspired Lucas Castro counter and Castro did get the ball in the net with a delightful lob, but only after straying offside.
Chievo continued to create most of the attacking opportunities and veteran striker Sergio Pellissier nodded a deflected cross over the bar.
Bartosz Salamon needed a crucial intervention to stop a tap-in from Meggiorini’s scuffed volley and Chievo were piling on the pressure, eventually finding the breakthrough from an unexpected source.
Full-back Massimo Gobbi started his run from the centre-circle, completed a give-and-go with Castro to burst past the final defender and slip the finish past Marco Storari. It was his first Serie A goal since September 2013, a gap of 100 games.
Niccolò Giannetti tested Stefano Sorrentino from distance, as Cagliari finally mounted some sort of attacking move. Meggiorini attempted an audacious scissor-kick volley and the Bruno Alves free kick whistled just wide.
It should’ve been 2-0 on 67 minutes when a corner found Castro’s free header, but it was remarkably off target from eight yards.
Alessandro Gamberini performed a decisive interception in the box as David Di Gennaro was ready to tap in and Marco Borriello’s shot skimmed the woodwork.
Meggiorini blasted a dipping shot over the bar and Farias went close for the visitors. In the final minute, Castro turned Luca Ceppitelli and Storari got his fingertips to the finish, preventing Meggiorini from tapping into an empty net.
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