Lucky Genoa miss opportunity to extend win streak vs. Cagliari
Ten-man Genoa missed an opportunity to win four consecutive Serie A games for the first time since 2009 and were lucky to take a point from a 1-1 draw at Cagliari.
Mattia Perin had to save a late penalty from Danilo Avelar to deny Cagliari their first home victory of the season after Diego Farias’ early opener was cancelled out by an own goal from Luca Rossetini.
Genoa navigated the final 15 minutes of the encounter at the Stadio Sant’Elia with only 10 players thanks to Stefano Sturaro, whose dismissal prompted the award of Danilo’s spot-kick.
The point was enough to boost Genoa into fifth place while Cagliari climb to 15th and enjoy a three-point cushion above the relegation zone.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s visitors seemed keener to make something happen when the match got under way in Sardinia and Diego Perotti went close with a searing drive in just the third minute.
Former Cagliari favorite Mauricio Pinilla proved a menace to his recent employers and his first – and highly acrobatic – attempt forced Alessio Cragno into a desperate save.
The opener came against the run of play, then, as Farias latched on to Daniele Conti’s clever through ball to fool Perin with his first touch and clip home with his second.
Pinilla thought he might plunder a quick equalizer but he could not fool Cragno with a speculative shot and, in the 27th minute, Juraj Kucka rattled the crossbar as Genoa grew in confidence.
They should have been level at the break but Kucka’s firm effort deep into first-half stoppage time was collected by the quick-thinking Cragno.
The second half did not start well for Cagliari as they surrendered their lead in the 53rd minute through Rossettini, whose attempt to tackle Pinilla diverted the ball into his own net.
The Isolani responded well to the setback and hit the post through Conti before swarming the Genoa box and duly winning a penalty.
Sturaro could not cope with Conti’s movement in the 75th minute and saw red for bringing the Cagliari captain down before he could let rip.
Danilo aimed his spot-kick to Perin’s right-hand side, but the Genoa goalkeeper guessed correctly and substitute Samuele Longo failed to tuck home the loose ball.
Cagliari had further chances to wrest back their advantage before full-time but neither Farias nor Godfred Donsah could get the better of Perin in the final five minutes.
Finally, with one minute remaining, Conti wriggled free of his marker to head a cross from deep towards an unguarded net, but its flight was slightly too high for him and the ball bobbled wide.