Cagliari bag crucial Catania win
Cagliari picked up an important three points in their battle against relegation from Serie A thanks to a 3-0 win over Catania at the Stadio Nereo Rocco in Trieste.
The Sardinians, playing their second game in Friulia-Venezia Giulia due to problems with their Sant'Elia home, took the lead through Thiago Ribeiro in the 21st minute. After wasting numerous chances early in the second half, Mauricio Pinilla settled their nerves with the second in the 79th minute before Victor Ibarbo added a third to take them six points clear of the drop zone, albeit having played one game more than Lecce, who host Napoli tomorrow.
Gonzalo Bergessio should have given high-flying Catania the lead in the sixth minute, but he headed wide from five yards out when it seemed easier to hit the target. Cagliari then took the lead with their first opportunity in the 21st minute.
Catania failed to clear the ball as it ricocheted around the area and it finally fell to Ribeiro on the edge of the area and his weak shot just beat Pietro Terracciano inside the post.
Cagliari came to life in the second half with Daniele Conti's shot deflecting off the outside of the post in the 53rd minute. Five minutes later, Andrea Cossu's shot was saved well by Terracciano and Conti's volley from the rebound was blocked by a defender.
At the other end, Bergessio somehow bundled the ball past Cagliari goalkeeper Vlada Avramov, but, with it going wide, he had to back-heel into play where Davide Lanzafame was just second to the ball after Avramov.
Cagliari took their next chance to end Catania's hopes in the 79th minute. Ibarbo used his strength, pace and skill to cut into the penalty area from the left and send a low cross to Pinilla, who had the easiest of tap-ins from a yard out to seal the win.
Cagliari hit the woodwork again in the 83rd minute with Michele Canini's header striking the outside of the post from a corner. Ibarbo then crowned an excellent half an hour's substitute appearance with a third goal, with practically the last kick of the game as he rifled a loose ball into the roof of the net after another unstoppable run into the area.