Cagliari earned a shock 1-0 win over Lazio, denting the Champions League hopes of Edy Reja's men. Despite dominating possession for extended periods, the visitors could not break down the opposition and succumbed to an own goal from Andre Dias.
Coach Roberto Donadoni was hoping his side could bounce back after last week's 1-0 loss to Inter and stayed with his usual 4-3-1-2 formation, Nene and Robert Acquafresca being supported by Andrea Cossu up front. Meanwhile opposition tactician Reja left both Mauro Zarate and Sergio Floccari on the bench, as youngster Libor Kozak started in attack after his recent positive spell of form. Tommaso Berni replaced the injured Fernando Muslera in goal.
Cagliari should have taken the lead four minutes in when Davide Biondini's deep cross found Nene, but the striker failed to direct his header on goal from a tight angle after Berni had flapped at the ball.
Despite the Isolani's early opportunity it was Lazio doing all the running and Hernanes' long-range strike nearly dipped into the top corner with Michael Agazzi backpeddaling, though his finish was just wide.
The visitors were commanding possession and Davide Astori earned a booking for a professional foul on Alvaro Gonzalez, but the defender made up for conceding the foul by clearing the set-piece.
Michele Canini was called for a handball just outside the area. Hernanes fired through the wall and Agazzi unconvincingly saved at the second attempt.
The home side took the lead against the run of play toward the end of the half. Andrea Cossu's ball over the top of the defence found Acquafresca, who dribbled into the area and slipped the ball under the goalkeeper. The ball appeared to be going wide but Andrea Dias seemed caught in two minds as the ball bobbled off his leg and into the net for an unfortunate own goal. Cagliari were in front 1-0 at half-time.
Having found the advantage, Cagliari's previously lacklustre midfield looked reinvigorated in the and worked to close down their opponents more quickly at the start of the second-half.
Cristian Ledesma fired a long range shot and once again Agazzi struggled to deal with it, giving up a juicy rebound for Kozak. However, the 21-year-old's header looped wide of the goal with the goalkeeper left on the ground.
Radja Nainngolan replaced Cossu, as Donadoni added some more steel to the midfield in hope of holding onto the narrow lead. Moment later, Floccari replaced the ineffective Giuseppe Sculli for Lazio.
The latter substitute had an immediate effect as he turned on the left flank and was subsequently fouled by Michele Canini. Hernanes struck a vicious free-kick that was deflected off the post by the Italian striker, but he was in an offside position on 70 minutes and time was running out for the Aquile.
Reja employed another throw of the dice by bringing on Mauro Zarate, but it was Cagliari's sub Simone Missoroli who should have doubled the lead after being played clear on goal. However, his volley flew over the top of Berni's crossbar.
In the latter stages, Zarate's tame hit from outside the area barely tested Agazzi as the Isolani held on for the three points on home soil after the referee added four minutes of injury time.
Despite the loss, Lazio remain in fourth place, though both Udinese and Roma decreased the gap to the final Champions League qualifying place in Serie A after Sunday's results. Cagliari continue to sit comfortably in mid-table, now on 38 points.