Cagliari – Sampdoria: Cagliari’s efforts rewarded as Sampdoria fades out of the game (4-3)
An unpredictable game deservedly went to Cagliari who, after an unfortunate first half, found their craft just in time to overcome a two-goal Sampdoria lead. Cagliari’s resurgence emerged from Sampdoria’s inability to maintain the level of defensive intensity and concentration that contained their opponent in the first hour.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
Cagliari’s impressive start to the season has seen them flying in the league’s high altitudes, causing turbulence in the ranking’s first class. Sitting in fifth place with a game in hand, facing a struggling Sampdoria side provided Rolando Maran’s men with a chance to follow the same wind direction as Roma, three points ahead, while looking to establish their ascent amongst Serie A’s elite.
Guided by captain Radja Nainggolan and crew members Robin Olsen, João Pedro, Nahitan Nández and Luca Cigarini, Cagliari are reaching new heights. In this light, the unavailability of the goalkeeper and the Uruguayan midfielder from the start came as significant misses. Rafael and Marko Rog joined the 4-3-2-1 formation instead.
In contrast with their opponents, Sampdoria have not had the best of starts to their campaign, especially considering their stable heritage passed on from Marco Giampaolo to Eusebio di Francesco. The former Roma manager was soon sacked, seeing Claudio Ranieri take over in an attempt to dock the sinking ship at the nearest strip of land.
Sampdoria started in a 4-4-2 formation. Jakub Jankto and Gastón Ramírez carried the creative burden from the flanks, in . . .