Cagliari extend unbeaten Serie A run

December 10, 2019

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ROME: Surprise package Cagliari came back from two goals down to extend their unbeaten run to 13 Serie A games with a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo on Sunday.

The Sardinian club, who have not finished in the top half of the Italian league since the 2008-09 season, remained fourth in the table, four points behind third-placed Lazio, and level on 29 points with fifth-placed AS Roma.

Fresh from a 2-2 draw at Juventus, Sassuolo built a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes through goals from Domenico Berardi and Filip Djuricic.

Cagliari improved after the interval as Joao Pedro pulled one back with a header. Berardi missed a penalty in the 66th that would have restored Sassuolo’s two-goal advantage before substitute Daniele Ragatzu snatched a last-minute equaliser 12 minutes after coming on.

Elsewhere, AC Milan beat Bologna 3-2 to return to the top half of the table but Fiorentina fell to their fourth consecutive defeat, 2-1 at Torino, with coach Vincenzo Montella under increasing pressure with the Tuscan side just five points above the relegation zone.

Milan put on a fine offensive with goals from Krzysztof Piatek, Theo Hernandez and Giacomo Bonaventura. Tenth-placed Milan improved their excellent record at Bologna, where they are unbeaten since 2002 in Serie A, and moved four points ahead of their opponents.

Piatek opened from the penalty spot after 15 minutes, with Hernandez adding a second just after half an hour, before accidently turning into his own net eight minutes later.

Bonaventura curled in the third immediately after the break before Nicola Sansone pulled one back from the penalty spot with six minutes remaining.

Simone Zaza made the most of a rare start to score as Torino inflicted a fourth straight loss on Fiorentina.

Zaza put the hosts in the lead in the 21st minute with a header from Cristian Ansaldi’s cross. Ansaldi, an Argentine fullback, made it 2-0 in the 72nd before Martin Caceres pulled one back in stoppage time.

The 2-1 defeat left Fiorentina in 13th place, 22 points behind leaders Inter Milan.

Mario Balotelli scored his 50th Serie A goal to lift Brescia off the bottom with a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers SPAL, who replaced Brescia in last place.

The former Manchester City and Inter striker tapped in after 54 minutes to get Eugenio Corini off to winning start to his second spell, which comes less than a month after being sacked.

Genoa threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at promoted Lecce, in a match that saw the visitors finished with nine players.

Genoa are third-from-bottom, one point behind city rivals Sampdoria, who lost 1-0 at home to Parma thanks to Juraj Kucka’s winning strike after 21 minutes.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2019