October 7, 2012
Torino 0-1 Cagliari
|Nenê (pen 74')|
Ivo Pulga started started life in the Cagliari hot seat with a win - and a first of the season at that - as Nene`s goal 16 minutes from time saw off Torino.
Pulga is an iconic figure in Sardinia having been a back-to-back promotion winner as a player, and he was this week given the task of working some magic on the other side of the touchline following the dismissal of Massimo Ficcadenti.
That decision was taken owing to a horror start to the season, but president Massimo Cellino will be feeling somewhat happier as a result of today`s events at the Stadio Olimpico.
Nene struck after Davide Astori`s shot had been saved, but it was not as though the goal was not deserved.
The former Boca Junior had the first chance of the game 12 minutes in, skewing wide from a tight angle, before Alessandro Sgrigna got Torino going with a close-range effort he should have done better with.
Radja Nainggolan was enjoying plenty of room in the middle of the field for Cagliari and had he shown better control inside the area with 29 minutes gone he would have given his side the lead, instead allowing possession to skip away.
Torino did not need to invite Cagliari on to them but goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet did anyway, his poor clearance setting up Danilo Avelar who was unable to cash in.
The home side needed the half-time break to settle down but mystifyingly emerged for the second period equally as sluggish.
Nainggolan`s throw fell for Daniele Conti whose shot on the turn fizzed wide, before Torino were lucky not to lose a man when Matteo Darmian was only booked for hauling down Victor Ibarbo as he tore down on goal.
It had seemed as though it was only a matter of time before a goal came and so it proved, with Nene ensuring it went in a deserving direction when he pounced to finish after Gillet could only parry Astori`s hit.
Torino responded through a Rolando Bianchi header which went in - just their second effort of the game - but he was clearly offside and the `goal` was ruled out and, although the same player produced a cheeky backheel which went narrowly wide, Cagliari held on.