Cagliari beat Palermo to reach top half
Cagliari lifted themselves into the top half of Serie A thanks to a 3-1 win over Palermo in the early kick-off in Serie A today.
Alessandro Matri put the hosts in front in the 23rd minute before an own goal by Antonio Nocerino early in the second half gave them a two-goal cushion. Javier Pastore reduced the arrears within minutes, but Davide Biondini sealed the win for Roberto Donadoni's side shortly afterwards.
The win lifts the Sardinians to just five points behind their Sicilian opponents, who missed the opportunity to move up to third. Palermo created the first opening of a tight first 20 minutes with Josip Ilicic threading the ball through for Massimo Maccarone, but Michael Agazzi was quick off his line and was able to clear just ahead of the Rosanero striker.
Four minutes later, Matri put Cagliari ahead, although he had luck on his side as the linesman's flag stayed down. The Cagliari striker was offside when he first received the ball from Nene and laid it off for him to shoot against the post. From the rebound, Matri was on hand to put the home side in front.
Despite the irregularity of the goal, the Sardinians deserved their lead at half-time having just shaded the first 45 minutes. The second half started with a bang as an own goal from Nocerino doubled Cagliari's advantage. He put Daniele Conti's shot past his own goalkeeper as he was under pressure from Robert Acquafresca at the far post.
Palermo's response was immediate with another weight-perfect pass from Ilicic setting up Pastore, who did not even need a touch to control the ball as he just drilled it past Agazzi in the 50th minute. Four minutes later, Biondini restored Cagliari's two-goal advantage with the aid of a deflection off Sinisa Andjelkovic to leave Salvatore Sirigu no chance in the Palermo goal.
Cagliari had the better chances to score again with Acquafresca denied the chance of a tap-in by Andjelkovic in the 65th minute, but they comfortably administered their lead to claim their second win in a row.