Joao Pedro, Nandez Goals Push Cagliari Past 10-Man Sampdoria

In the day of Gigi Riva’s birthday – Cagliari and Italy’s all-time top-scorer – the Islanders beat Sampdoria 2-0 at the Sardegna Arena with goals from Joao Pedro and Nahitan Nandez. Eusebio Di Francesco’s side could easily dispose of the opposition after they were left with one man less as Tommaso Augello saw red before the end of the first half.

Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria recorded their first loss after going unbeaten for four games but couldn’t objectively do much after their left back was sent off for a last-man foul on Nandez. A penalty conceded early into the second half gave them the coup de grace and Cagliari only had to control the match until full time to grab three important points.

Both coaches came into the game with only one change versus their lineups from one week ago. Cagliari’s Eusebio Di Francesco took a crack at his old team who gave him the axe after seven games last season with Adam Ounas in place of Riccardo Sottil. Claudio Ranieri, on the other hand, substituted Mikkel Damsgaard with Antonio Candreva.

Five minutes into the game, a lovely lofted ball from the right side found Joao Pedro in the box but the Brazilian’s header crashed against Emil Audero’s woodwork. That would be Joao Pedro’s only spark in the whole first half as Cagliari’s captain was well controlled by Samp’s center back Maya Yoshida.

There were no more chances for Cagliari, while Sampdoria progressively increased the pressure using Tomasso Augello’s crosses from the left flank and Antonio Candreva’s skills from the opposite side but never came to threaten Alessio Cragno for real.

Giovanni Simeone received basically no service for the first 35 minutes and his frustration turned into an unrealistic shot from out of the box that couldn’t scare Sampdoria at all.

The game took an unexpected turn as Lorenzo Tonelli and Tommaso Augello came up with a risky back-pass combination to their goalkeeper and  Augello had to push down Nahitan Nandez to prevent him from taking advantage of it.

Sampdoria’s left-back initially scored a yellow card but then referee Giovanni Ayroldi showed him a red one as a VAR review highlighted how Augello was the last man in Doria‘s defense. Claudio Ranieri thus had to cover himself up by pulling out striker Gastòn Ramirez and replacing him with winger Mikkel Damsgaard.

Cagliari had their lead three minutes into the second half when Lorenzo Tonelli pushed back Joao Pedro in the box and the captain buried the spot to tally his 60th personal goal for the Isolani – second only to the incomparable Gigi Riva in the Rossoblu history.

A few minutes later, Cagliari went to close to double their lead but Joao Pedro ended up obstructing Adam Ounas who was ready to shot from a fast break initiated by Riccardo Sottil – who replaced Razvan Marin at half time.

In the 62nd minute, Riccardo Sottil prompted some fine goalkeeping on the part of Emil Audero. But the Doria‘s goalie couldn’t do anything six minutes later when Giovanni Simeone found Nahitan Nandez with a brilliant vertical pass from the right flank. The Uruguayan skipped away from Antonio Candreva and comfortably slotted the ball home to make it two for the hosts.

Another superb team effort on the part of the Islanders seemed to earn Cagliari the third as Joao Pedro played in for Adam Ounas and the Algerian whipped the ball on the opposite side of the pitch, where Riccardo Sottil was ready for a point-blank range tap-in. However, referee Ayroldi would rule out the goal on grounds of offside after almost three minutes of review.

In the 83rd minute, Sottil went all solo rather than serving Giovanni Simeone: It seemed like an easy chance for the Argentine to convert but the 21-year-old Italian rather came up with a weak shot which Audero blocked with no trouble.

It would have a been a too sever punishment for Sampdoria who at least tried to score one for the honor until the very end- though to no avail.



November 7, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 7

SCORERS: 48′ Joao Pedro pen., 68′ Nandez

CAGLIARI (4-2-3-1): Cragno; Zappa (90′ Pisacane), Walukiewicz, Godin, Lykogiannis; Nandez (90′ Caligara), Marin (46′ Sottil); Ounas (90′ Tramoni), Joao Pedro, Rog; Simeone (85′ Pavoletti) (Aresti, Vicario, Tripaldelli, Klavan, Pereiro, Oliva, Cerri) Coach: Di Francesco
SAMPDORIA (4-4-2): Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Tonelli, Augello; Candreva (80′ Verre), Thorsby, Ekdal (76′ Silva), Jankto (76′ Léris); Ramirez (42′ Damsgaard), Quagliarella (76′ La Gumina) (Letica, Ravaglia, Colley, Ferrari, Regini, Askildsen, Prelec) Coach: Ranieri

REFEREE: Mr. Ayroldi from Molfetta
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Tonelli, Silva (S); Red Card: Augello (S); Extra Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 4′

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