Cagliari registered their first victory of the season thanks to Joao Pedro’s brace and a deflected Martin Caceres strike, upsetting Sampdoria.
The Sardinians were still without a win since Walter Mazzarri took over from Leonardo Semplici, going into this without Sebastian Walukiewicz, Marko Rog and Paolo Faragò, while Samp had Manolo Gabbiadini and Valerio Verre back from injury, but missed Mikel Damsgaard and Ernesto Torregrossa.
It was an aggressive start from the hosts, who after a series of corners took the lead, as Antonio Candreva’s poor clearance was intercepted by Dalbert and Keita Balde Diao crossed from the by-line for Joao Pedro’s header at the back post. It was initially disallowed for offside, but confirmed after a long VAR check.
Dalbert sustained a knock to the ankle during that move and had to be substituted soon after. Candreva almost made up for his earlier error, a right-foot curler from the edge of the box bouncing off the base of the far upright.
Adrien Silva’s strike on a short corner was deflected wide and Diego Godin made a decisive tackle on Candreva, as Samp poured forward in search of an equaliser.
Razvan Marin’s effort was smothered by Emil Audero straight after the restart and Gabbiadini couldn’t get firm contact under pressure from Carboni, but Audero got just a fingertip to the ball to prevent Keita finishing a well-worked team move.
Instead, Cagliari doubled their lead when a free kick was cleared to the edge of the box, where Martin Caceres saw his strike take a massive deflection off Morten Thorsby to wrong-foot Audero into the far top corner.
It wasn’t over yet, because the Sardinian defence fell asleep on a short corner, where Ciccio Caputo’s cross found Thorsby unmarked for a free header from six yards.
Samp almost equalised when Omar Colley nodded wide at the back stick on Candreva’s cross, as Nahitan Nandez did just enough to put the defender off. In stoppages, Luca Ceppitelli again defended desperately on Caputo, allowing Alessio Cragno to smother, while Roberto D’Aversa saw red for dissent.
Instead, Cagliari added a third with the last kick of the game. The goalkeeper took a long free kick from midfield, Leonardo Pavoletti nodded it down for Nandez, who pulled back for Joao Pedro to finish from nine yards.
Cagliari 3-1 Sampdoria
Joao Pedro 4, 94 (C), Caceres 75 (C), Thorsby 82 (S)