Cagliari are on a positive note for the first time this season, with the 2-1 victory over Genoa marking their third successive victory across all competitions. Substitute Gabriele Zappa, who came on for Pantelis Chatzidiakos in the second half, proved to be the difference maker for the Sardinians, as he struck the winner in the 69th minute from inside the box.
Speaking after the game at the Unipol Domus, the 23-year-old revealed he couldn’t help but tear up following his match-winning exploits.
“It’s difficult to realize what happened, I teared up when I scored. I dedicate the goal to my entire family. I’m very happy, I’ve dreamed of it since I was a child. I rejoiced but waited for the VAR, I had tears in my eyes when the goal was validated. We picked up three golden points today.” (via CagliariNews24)
Ranieri unsurprisingly stressed how significant it is not to concede, although Albert Gudmundsson equalized just minutes after Nicolas Viola broke the deadlock. Zappa also highlighted the defensive tightness as being key.
“The coach asked us not to concede goals but unfortunately it arrived. We only allowed two shots on goal, and we need to improve this to avoid relegation. Ranieri asked me to push only if I had the strength to return so as not to leave a gap behind.”
A first loss inflicted on Genoa in three games lifts the Isolani out of the relegation zone by a mere point. Zappa, the Inter youth product, also handed Cagliari a maiden victory in eight H2H outings.
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