Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Jordan Willas On April - 1 - 2013

Cagliari Put Dent in Fiorentina Champions League Hopes

A first half Mauricio Pinilla brace propelled Cagliari to victory at the Stadio Is Arenas despite a late fight back from the Fiorentina.

The visitors looked to characteristically dominate possession and impose themselves on the Islanders, but the home side were quick on the break and dangerous from set pieces throughout the game. Pinilla gave an early warning shot as his header glanced past the far post from a corner in the opening stages, then after just eleven minutes the Fiorentina back line failed to convincingly clear a corner and the Chilean forward struck home to break the deadlock.

Both sides came into the game with good form, Fiorentina on the back of three consecutive wins and Cagliari unbeaten at home in 2013. However, with influential Borja Valero suspended for the tie, Fiorentina looked impotent in attack, and an early forced substitution to sought after star Stevan Jovetic only added to the visiting team’s woes. Marcelo Larrondo replaced the Montenegrin, the Argentine having only scored one goal since arriving at the club in January. Soon after, Cagliari doubled their lead. A counter attack from defending a corner resulted in Juan Cuadrado hacking down Marco Sau in the area, and Pinilla slotting home the penalty.

Manager Vincenzo Montella made changes in the second half, with Luca Toni replacing a quiet Adem Ljajic and the introduction of Mattias Fernandez. Though the Viola still looked susceptible to the counter, Juan Cuadrado tried to make amends after pouncing on poor Cagliari defending, swivelling to volley home.  It proved to be little more than a conselation though, as both Viviano and Agazzi made important saves in the late stages to keep the score down.

Looking forward, Fiorentina will have to claim nothing less than victory when they face AC Milan on the next matchday to have any realistic hope of reaching next season’s Champions League, as they now lie six points off of the coveted third place. They will also hope star striker Stevan Jovetic’s injury is nothing too serious. For Cagliari, it is a case of continuing in their fine form. Safe from relegation, but also too far from a late European push, the Sardinians are playing for little more than pride at the moment, but the results are very encouraging for Ivo Pulga’s men.

Match LineUps

Cagliari: Agazzi; Pisano, Rossettini, Astori, Murru; Ekdal (Dessena 46), Conti (Caprera 73), Nainggolan; Cossu; Pinilla (Ibarbo 68), Sau

Fiorentina: Viviano; Rodriguez, Roncaglia, Savic, Pasqual; Aquilani, Pizarro, Migliaccio (Fernandez 63); Cuadrado, Jovetic (Larrondo 31), Ljajic (Toni 46)

Comments are closed.

Featured Skills Video

    Write for Serie A Weekly!

    contribute Send us a timely, compelling post and we'll consider it for publishing on the site with mention of your name and social-media link.

    Click here to contact us.


Serie A Weekly recognises all copyrights contained. Where possible we acknowledge the copyright holder. If you own copyright to an image and object to its presence, contact the blog immediately using the "contact us" link at the top of this page. This blog is not responsible for the content of third party sites.