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.
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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.