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Italian Serie A

Sant'Elia 30th March 2013 - Kick off 14:00 Ref: D Orsato

Cagliari Cagliari vs Fiorentina Fiorentina

Cagliari 2

M Pinilla (11, pen 39)


Fiorentina 1

J Cuadrado (73)

Cagliari continue to prosper

Last Updated: 30/03/13 6:11pm

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Mauricio Pinilla bagged a brace for Catania

Mauricio Pinilla bagged a brace for Catania

Cagliari continued to prosper despite their supporters' exile from the Stadio Is Arenas as a brace from Mauricio Pinilla sealed a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina.

It was a third straight win behind closed doors at the controversial stadium, from which Rossoblu fans are barred due to ongoing safety concerns, and on Saturday's evidence they may choose not to apply for re-entry for the four remaining home games.

Pinilla needed 11 minutes to beat Emiliano Viviano before firing the winner from the penalty spot just before half-time.

Juan Cuadrado's second-half response gave Fiorentina brief hope they could make up ground on third-placed AC Milan, but they remain fourth while Cagliari climb to 11th.

It was clear on Saturday would belong to Cagliari from the early exchanges as Marco Sau came dangerously close to tucking home Pinilla's deflected header.

They would not wait long as the Chilean found the net with a deft shot beyond Viviano having been played onside by Facundo Roncaglia.

Fiorentina were, uncharacteristically, struggling to take control in midfield and Stevan Jovetic was restricted to an acrobatic effort from an uncomfortable angle in the 20th minute.

The Montenegrin's afternoon ended prematurely on the half-hour mark as injury forced Marcelo Larrondo into an early appearance from the bench.

The loss of their talismanic striker further unsettled La Viola and Cagliari took advantage of the malaise to double their lead six minutes before the break.

When Cuadrado was adjudged to have impeded Sau in the area, Pinilla stepped up to beat Viviano from the spot to a ripple of applause from the home dugout.

Adem Ljajic might have settled his side's nerves with an away goal before the break but his first touch was lacking and his shot sailed wide of the mark.

Fiorentina continued to struggle without their fans roaring them on when play resumed and Manuel Pasqual inexplicably opted to pass to Larrondo with the goal at his mercy.

The only way in was from distance with Cagliari closing ranks and in the 74th minute Cuadrado found the gap he needed to spin Nicola Murru and drive the ball home on the turn.

That move transferred the jitters to the Sardinians for a frantic closing period and Alberto Aquilani was first to threaten the equaliser, instead spooning over the bar when he needed a more delicate touch.

Then, two minutes into stoppage time, substitute Luca Toni bamboozled Michael Agazzi with a shot on his less-favoured left foot, but the ball trickled agonisingly wide.

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Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 12 31
2 Roma 12 28
3 Napoli 12 22
4 Sampdoria 12 21
5 Genoa 12 20
6 Lazio 12 19
7 AC Milan 12 18
8 Udinese 12 18
9 Inter Milan 12 17
10 Fiorentina 12 16
11 Sassuolo 12 15
12 Verona 12 14
13 Palermo 12 14
14 Empoli 12 13
15 Torino 12 12
16 Cagliari 12 11
17 Atalanta 12 10
18 Chievo 12 9
19 Cesena 12 8
20 Parma 12 6