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Serie A

  • 1 February 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
  • Referee: A. Romeo
  • • Attendance: 9500

Cagliari 4-2 Roma: Thiago Ribeiro nets brace to condemn Luis Enrique's side to first league defeat in eight matches

A cold evening in Sardinia meant only a small crowd saw Davide Ballardini’s side put on an impressive display in a thrilling encounter against the Giallorossi

A brace from Thiago Ribeiro and strikes from Mauricio Pinilla and Albin Ekdal gave Cagliari a memorable 4-2 victory over Roma at the Stadio Sant'Elia on Wednesday.

The home side took the lead in the sixth minute when a Daniele Conti pass found Thiago Ribeiro on the left-wing and the forward cut inside before unleashing a bullet past Roma keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Roma didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser and after winning a corner in the 13th minute, captain Francesco Totti floated the ball into the middle of the box where Juan leapt well against the challenge of Michele Canini to head past Michael Agazzi.

The goal certainly looked to settle the Giallorossi and they looked comfortable with Totti linking up well with Miralem Pjanic and Erik Lamela.

Ribeiro had another goalscoring opportunity from a similar position in the 31st minute but this time the Brazilian could only fire over the bar.

The visitors went ahead nine minutes before the half-time interval when Pjanic’s free kick was parried by Agazzi in the area and fell into the path of Fabio Borini, who was quick to react and slot the ball into the right-hand side of the goal.

Roma's lead would only last five minutes though as Pinilla latched onto Andrea Cossu’s through ball and just found the space to poke the ball over an oncoming Stekelenburg.

It only took Davide Ballardini’s men three minutes to regain their lead after break when Pinilla’s perfectly weighted through ball was picked up by Ribeiro on the right, who unleashed another rocket from just inside the area, which crashed in off the bar.

Roma tried to answer soon after as Totti played the ball through two Cagliari defenders and into the path of Aleandro Rosi, but the right-back fired the ball wide of the target. A corner won by the visitors a couple of minutes later was drifted to the edge of the area by Pjanic and Fernando Gago’s ensuing volley went just wide of the post.

Roma continued to press for the equaliser but could not find the finish in the final third. Although Luis Enrique’s men enjoyed more of the possession after the Rossoblu’s third goal, the hosts continued to create chances as well, with Ribeiro continuing to trouble Stekelenburg.

The Giallorossi's misery was compounded in the 92nd minute when substitute Segundo Ibarbo went on a mazy run inside the Roma area before laying the ball back for Ekdal to finish with ease.

Cagliari’s win sees them move up five places to 10th and they face bottom-side Novara away on Sunday. Roma meanwhile move down one place to seventh and face Inter in the Italian capital on Saturday.