Cagliari vs Udinese, final score 3-0: Sardinians pull clear of relegation trouble

Enrico Locci

Cagliari put some daylight between themselves and the relegation places following a 3-0 victory over Udinese at the Sant'Elia Stadium.

Victor Ibarbo put the home side ahead early in the first half. Loanees Matias Vecino and Agim Ibraimi added to the score late on to snap Udinese's four game unbeaten streak. Cagliari now move level on points with their beaten opponents. This result, coupled with last weekend's draw at Inter Milan eases the pressure on coach Diego Lopez.

The home side were without midfield pair Daniele Conti and Albin Ekdal. Maurizo Domizzi sat out a suspension for Udinese, while Andrea Lazzari and Igor Bubnjic were injured.

The game sparked to life on 17 minutes. Giampiero Pinzi burst into the box and rolled the ball back for Antonio Di Natale to shoot over from 12 yards. Cagliari punished Udinese for that mistake by taking the ball up the other end and scoring less than 60 seconds later.

Ibarbo plucked a ball out of the air and used his strength to shield from his marker and hit a low shot on the turn which caught Simone Scuffet flat-footed. The Colombian ran over to celebrate his effort with his under-fire tactician.

Di Natale continued to threaten for the visitors. The veteran found space in the box, but his near post effort was kept out by Vlada Avramov. The goalkeeper was left scrambling to pluck a deflected lob onto the woodwork, after Di Natale's looping effort looked destined to finish under the crossbar.

Udinese continued to press for an equaliser. Gabriel Silva was forced wide, but he still managed to put in a low cross. Di Natale failed to make a run to get on the end of the teasing ball.

Scuffet ran out to punch and bravely catch ahead of Ibarbo just before half time. The young shot stopper thwarted the Colombian minutes after the restart, then Naldo put in a timely tackle to prevent a Mauricio Pinilla cross from reaching Ibarbo in the box.

Avramov did well to divert a Dusan Basta effort wide after the ball bounced straight in front of him. Scuffet came to Udinese's rescue to block from Danilo Avelar, after the defender seized on a Pinzi error in the box.

Cagliari almost netted a decisive second goal on 74 minutes. Ibarbo released Nene in the box, but Thomas Heurtaux forced him wide and the substitute sent his effort into the side netting.

Avramov's decision not to clear a ball almost gifted Udinese an equaliser. Nicolas Lopez decided to cross when one-on-one and the ball was just behind Di Natale, who failed to connect with a bicycle kick.

The home side got the cushion of a second goal nine minutes from time. Substitute Ibraimi put a free kick into the box and Basta lost his marker, allowing Vecino to convert a low volley from 12 yards. It was the Uruguayan's first goal in a Cagliari shirt since joining on loan from Fiorentina.

Nene went on a solo run and blazed over, before Ibraimi added a third goal a minute from the end. The on loan Maribor player cut into the box and curled an effort past Scuffet into the top corner. Like Vecino, it was also Ibraimi's maiden strike for Lopez's side.

Cagliari: Avramov; Pisano, Rossettini, Astori, Avelar; Dessena, Cossu, (Ibraimi 77) Vecino; Adryan; (Eriksson 46) Ibarbo, Pinilla (Nene 68)

Udinese: Scuffet; Heurtaux, Danilo, Naldo; (Maicousel 75) Basta, Pinzi, Yebda, Pereyra, Gabriel Silva; (Widmer 62) Bruno Fernandes, (Lopez 51) Di Natale

Goals: Ibarbo 18 (C) Vecino 81 (C) Ibraimi 89 (C)

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