ROME, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) — Thanks to goals from Thiago Ribeiro and Joaquin Larrivey, Cagliari beat Novara 2-1 on Saturday to stay atop of the Italian Serie A table for a night with a 100 per cent record.
The Sardinians were in high spirit after beating Roma away in their opening game, and they went ahead in the 38th minute with Thiago Ribeiro’s debut Serie A goal.
A free kick was taken quickly for Agostini’s cross, knocked on by Nene for the Brazilian’s free header from six yards. The Novara defence left far too much space for Thiago Ribeiro to prepare his finish.
Novara’s first shot on target saw Michael Agazzi smother a Rigoni snapshot just before half-time.
Porcari went close to an equaliser after the restart, his powerful free kick beated round the post with some difficulty by Agazzi. On the resulting corner, Francesco Marianini nodded over.
At the other end, Lisuzzo’s diving header very nearly turned into a spectacular own goal, but luckily for him shaved the upright. Novara aimed a shot at the proper end of the field, as Agazzi dealt with a Rigoni long-range effort.
Nene tried to score a sensational solo effort, running down the left flank and bursting into the box only for his shot to be parried by Ujkani’s foot at the base of the near post. From the corner, Conti only scuffed his volley.
Cagliari thought Morganella should have been sent off for knocking over Victor Ibarbo when running towards the area, but the referee was lenient and only flashed a yellow card.
The Sardinians put the result beyond doubt in the final stages, as Conti’s daisy-cutter from outside the box took a decisive touch off Joaquin Larrivey’s toe to redirect it into the far bottom corner past a helpless Ujkani.
However, just 70 seconds later Novara pulled one back, as Morimoto’s hopeful shot from the edge of the area took a deflection off Pisano and looped up over the goalkeeper into an empty net.