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Italy Serie A

Sant'Elia (ATT 6,500) 1st December 2013 - Kick off 14:00 Ref: Lorenzo Fabbri

Cagliari Cagliari vs Sassuolo Sassuolo

Cagliari 2

Nene (74)
M Sau (87)

ft

Sassuolo 2

L Marzorati (14)
S Zaza (19)

Cagliari hit back for point

Last Updated: 01/12/13 6:51pm

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Nicola Murru in action for Cagliari

Nicola Murru in action for Cagliari

Sassuolo were denied the chance to claim back-to-back Serie A victories for the first time in their history as Cagliari rallied from two goals down to force a draw at the Stadio Sant'Elia.

The Serie B champions, who were roundly punished throughout their torrid introduction to top-flight football, have since escaped the bottom three with a run of two victories from three games and looked set to win again when Lino Marzorati and Simone Zaza scored during the first half in Sardinia.

The Neroverde are, however, yet to fully shake their naivety at this level and crumbled after the break. Goals from Nene and Marco Sau rescued a 2-2 draw for Cagliari, who would have dropped below their opponents in the table with a second home defeat of the season.

In what was a first-ever Serie A meeting between the two clubs, the mainlanders enjoyed the first shot on goal with Zaza trying to surprise Vlada Avramov from distance.

Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan then unleashed a powerful right-footed drive from outside the box that clipped a post and bounced wide.

Sassuolo pushed back and opened the scoring in the 14th minute.

Defender Marzorati was all alone in the Rossoblu area at a corner and had plenty of time to beat the stranded Avramov with a header.

The visitors would double their lead through Zaza five minutes later.

The former Sampdoria striker fired a warning shot moments before finding the back of the net and his next effort was unstoppable for Avramov as he picked up a through-ball from Gaetano Masucci to blast home with an angled drive.

With Cagliari on the ropes, Zaza very nearly scored a quickfire third after robbing Davide Astori of possession in a dangerous area, but he could not find the target.

Halving the deficit before the break would have raised the Sardinians' spirits but, despite the best efforts of Nainggolan, his deflected strike veered wide of the mark to set up 15 minutes of soul-searching in the dressing room.

Nene clearly listened to Diego Lopez's half-time team talk as he streaked onto the edge of the area to blast at Gianluca Pegolo with a deceptive right-footed drive.

Indeed, Cagliari were much livelier and managed to ensure the game would be a contest for its final 15 minutes as their Brazilian striker beat Pegolo to his far post with a firm header from Francesco Pisano's cross.

Nainggolan had been a constant thorn in Sassuolo's side all day and seemed fated to have a decisive impact before the final whistle.

The Belgian midfielder did produce the shot that settled the tie but it fell to Sau to race onto the loose ball and tap home after Pegolo had got gloves to the original strike.

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Table

Italy Serie A

Italy Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 34 90
2 Roma 34 82
3 Napoli 34 68
4 Fiorentina 34 58
5 Inter Milan 34 56
6 Parma 34 51
7 AC Milan 34 51
8 Torino 34 49
9 Verona 34 49
10 Lazio 34 49
11 Atalanta 34 46
12 Sampdoria 34 41
13 Udinese 34 39
14 Genoa 34 39
15 Cagliari 34 36
16 Chievo 34 30
17 Sassuolo 34 28
18 Bologna 34 28
19 Livorno 34 25
20 Catania 34 23