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January 16, 2011
• Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 8000
A. Matri 23'
A. Nocerino 47' (own goal)
D. Biondini 54'
J. Pastore 50'
Shots on Target
90' + 3'
And that's full time here. Cagliari are fully deserving of the three points today, against a Palermo side who did not do enough to take anything from the match. Thanks for joining us for the live action on Goal.com!!!
Four minutes of stoppage time to be added here.
Cagliari just playing down the minutes, keeping possession in the corner, and this match is all but over.
Maccarone, once again, is flagged offside, and Palermo seem consigned to their fate.
Goalscorer Biondini catches a blow to the eye that leaves him in pain, and Palermo kick the ball out to allow him treatment - begrudgingly, because it broke up an attack as they search for a goal.
Pastore is cutting a frustrated figure late in the game, partly due to the physical treatment of the hosts, but also with his own side's inability to fashion a route back into the match.
Into the final ten minutes now, and time is running out on Palermo. In truth since Cagliari's third goal hit the net, they haven't looked likely to take anything from this contest.
Another Cagliari break comes from Palermo losing the ball, but the Rosanero try a counter of their own. Balzaretti's pass is to nobody in particular though.
Chip forward by Pastore, Joao Pedro does brilliantly to lift the ball over Caninui, but the defender recovers well to clear.
Balzaretti's ball forward is put out for a corner by Canini as Maccarone threatened, but Pastore shoots wide. Cagliari immediately replace Acquafresca with young Daniele Ragatzu. Or Ra Atzu, as his shirt says!
Palermo seem to have forgotten most of their principals in their panic to get something from the game. They just can't put passes together at the moment.
Yellow Card Federico Balzaretti
Another booking for Palermo. Balzaretti is cautioned for a high challenge on Nene.
Delio Rossi makes a second change. Nani lookalike Joao Pedro is on for Ilicic.
Cagliari are starting to look like they're more likely to extend their lead than see it halved. They look comfortable enough at the back.
Good build-up play by Palermo, until Liverani fires a ball straight at a red and blue shirt, allowing Cagliari to counter.
Nene crosses low from the right for ACQUAFRESCAAAAAAAAA... who kicks fresh air. Still 3-1.
The Sardinians are breaking well on Palermo now and Matri should have done better with a free header from Agostini's excellent cross.
Astori doesn't agree with the referee's decision to give Palermo a free-kick. The ref won't mind... he doesn't need Astori's permission, after all!
Nene forces Sirigu to beat away his 20-yard curler after more good work by Nainggolan down the left. He's got the beating of Cassani, it would seem.
Maccarone flagged offside when he was definitely on. What's this lino up to? He was the same guy who gave Matri onside for the opener.
The first change of the game is like for like in Palermo's midfield, with Fabio Liverani on for Bacinovic.
Cagliari going forward again with even Pisano threatening to score now. Can we catch our collective breath please?
Goal Davide Biondini
GOALS GALORE!!!! IT'S 3-1 NOW. DAVIDE BIONDINI SCORES!! Agostini gallops down the left and sends a great cross in which Balzaretti flicks out of the way of Acquafresca, but Biondini drives the loose ball in thanks to a touch off Andelkovic on the way.
Cagliari are panicking a touch now and Nainggolan is the latest to commit a foul. Free-kick in a dangerous position for the visitors.
Yellow Card Mattia Cassani
What a time for Cagliari to concede. It's put a spring back into Palermo's step, but their captain Mattia Cassani goes into the book for a foul.
Assist Josip Iličič
Goal Javier Pastore
IT'S NOT OVER YET!!!!! IT'S 2-1!!!! Pastore and Ilicic exchange passes, with the Slovenian's being a fantastic ball which sends Pastore in down the right channel and he finishes with aplomb. That's his first since his hat-trick in the Sicily derby.
Well... they're trying to give the goal to Acquafresca, but given that the entire Cagliari side ran straight to Conti, it's a bit of a giveaway that the striker didn't get a touch. Either way, it's 2-0 and Palermo have a mountain to climb.
Own Goal Antonio Nocerino
An early corner for Cagliari, just as in the first half, and Matri connects with it before Munoz's deflection takes it just over the bar. Cagliari win a further corner and Conti turns it towards Acquafresca at the far post but IT'S AN OWN GOAL!!!!!!!!! Nocerino tried to get in front of Acquafresca and could only turn it past Sirigu. Nightmare start to the second half.
We're back underway, with Cagliari kicking off and Palermo desperately needing a bit more of a kilelr instinct in the last third.
How was your break? Really? Good. Well now we're back at the Sant' Elia. Can Cagliari protect this one-goal lead?
45' + 2'
There's the whistle. Cagliari have the lead at the break with a controversial Alessandro Matri strike on 23 minutes. Palermo had threatened before then and also finished the half on top, but can they get something back. Come back in 15 to find out. In the meantime, send your messages on Twitter to @krisvoakes
45' + 1'
We begin the only additional minute with a foul by Davide Biondini. Ilicic takes the set piece, but Migliaccio is offside as he looks to head across to Maccarone.
The Rosanero win a second corner, from which Pastore drives left-footed from the edge of the area, but Agazzi is behind it.
Maccarone's pass for Ilicic wasn't great, but it wins him a corner off Canini.
Palermo just trying to get back on top after having been the more impressive of the two sides before Matri's goal.
Maccarone gets a boot from behind from Astori and it's a Palermo free-kick on the right flank around 10 yards from the bye-line. Ilicic to take it. He plays it short to Cassani and Andelkovic can't get enough on the skipper's cross.
Pastore on the run again, but Astori cuts off his passage well. The Argentine then fouls the defender and it's a Cagliari free-kick. Nothing's going right for him just now.
Pastore is more a liability than a world-beater at the moment. He loses the ball once again, allowing Cagliari to break and Acquafresca gets in a header which Sirigu collects on the bounce.
MAGNIFICENT CHALLENGE FROM ANDELKOVIC!! The debutant had to be on his toes as a cross for the left looked destined for Nene in the centre, but the youngster slid in well to clear the danger.
Pastore is really not back on form yet. He tries a trick to find a pass to Cassani, but it's ahead of the skipper and goes out for a throw-in.
It's Belgium v Slovenia in an aerial clash... Nainggolan v Bacinovic... and there's two losers. A clash of heads floors both, and we'll have a short stoppage, no doubt.
Cagliari are much improved since the goal, and Palermo suddenly look very vulnerable. A rushed clearance by Andelkovic goes horizontal, giving Cagliari a dangerous throw-in.
Nice idea from Nocerino... He tries to find Maccarone as the striker makes an angled run from left to right, but it's a touch closer to Agazzi than he'd have liked and the keeper collects.
Nainggolan and Conti combine well to put Agostini in on the left, but his return to the skipper is far too heavy and the danger has gone for Palermo.
I tell you what... the replays show that Matri was well offside when collecting the pass from Nene in the build-up to the goal. A stroke of fortune for the Rossoblu.
Having just scored, Matri now wants a penalty after going down under a challenge from two defenders, but the entire Palermo back-line join referee Tagliavento in telling him to get to his feet.
Assist Robert Acquafresca
Goal Alessandro Matri
GOOOOOALLLLLl!!! Would you believe it, it's Cagliari who grab the first goal. Palermo's defence is at a standstill as Nene exchanges passes with a borderline-offside Matri before striking a shot off the far post, but Matri turns it in to put the home side ahead completely against the run of play.
Maccarone offside for Palermo. They're just a clear-cut chance away from having a fair claim to being the better side here.
Another foul by Conti... his third. Another one soon might well see him land himself an early bath.
Cagliari are really struggling to hit their stride at the moment, and after Nene concedes an easy throw-in, Palermo break. Maccarone is one-on-one with Agazzi. GOOD GOALKEEPING!! Maccarone doesn't quite get a touch to the ball and Agazzi is in quickly to smother.
The hard-working Migliaccio wins the ball from Nene and then wins a corner. Great play. Bacinovic's corner is met by too heavy a touch from Pastore.
Slack ball by Bacinovic, but he wins it straight back. Palermo intent on keeping the ball, and they build down the right, but Nainggolan cuts out the danger.
Palermo look the more fluent at the moment, and after a nice move Nocerino shoots on sight from 25 yards, but it's wide of Michael Agazzi's near post.
Yellow Card Armin Bačinovič
Well the referee's a busy man here. Armin Bacinovic is the latest in the book for a late challenge. 1-2 on the yellow card count inside 13 minutes.
Yellow Card Josip Iličič
...and as he does so Ilicic has a kick at him. Silly stuff from the young man. That's an obvious yellow card for Ilicic.
Palermo are playing with Maccarone drifting quite wide to the left, with Ilicic advancing through the middle, and the Slovenian almost connects onto Maccarone's pass, but Astori shepherds it out.
Yellow Card Daniele Conti
Another foul by Conti, and it rightly earns him a yellow card. He was a touch high and late on Antonio Nocerino.
Pastore is fouled by Conti to give Palermo a set piece, but it's 40 yards from goal so there'll be no direct effort.
Slow going so far. Maccarone tries to carry the ball forward for Palermo, but runs into trouble.
Ok... let's see if you're awake for the early kick-off. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter (@krisvoakes). Maybe you want to discuss how the two sides are coping without Cossu and Miccoli.
It's not exactly a capacity crowd, but those in the Sant' Elia have been rewarded with two corners already, one apiece. Nothing comes of either though.
It's the away side who kick off. I still don't get how white and pink go together, but that's what they're wearing, with Cagliari in their usual red and blue halves.
So it will be Nene behind Matri and Acquafresca for the home side, with Cossu suspended. Bovo is also banned for Palermo, with Andelkovic in in his place after a decent showing against Chievo in midweek, while Massimo Maccarone is in for Rosanero skipper Fabrizio Miccoli.
Ciao tutti! How's your lunch Europe? Fancy a bit of Cagliari-Palermo with that? Here comes Goal.com's LIVE coverage of this week's Sunday lunch special from Serie A. It's the Derby del' Isole. Team news to come shortly.
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