Cagliari have claimed an impressive 4-2 win away to Roma, increasing the pressure on the capital club’s head coach Zdenek Zeman.
The visitors tore Roma apart at the Stadio Olimpico with Marco Sau the star for Cagliari, setting up Radja Nainggolan’s opening goal and scoring his team’s third.
Roma goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea produced an own goal for Cagliari and Francesco Pisano also struck for the Sardinia-based club, while Francesco Totti and Marquinho were on the scoresheet for the hosts in a result that will increase speculation Zeman may be sacked.
The Czech head coach returned to Roma before the season and expectations were high as the 65-year-old had previously managed the club in the late 90s when he built a team that played some of the most-attractive football in Italy.
But recent poor form led to Roma’s director of football Walter Sabatini to reveal during the week Zeman’s future is uncertain at the capital club.
Roma have not won in Serie A this year with Friday’s defeat their fourth loss in six league matches and without quick improvement, Zeman’s return to the Italian capital seems destined to end in failure.
Cagliari’s opening goal came in the third minute when Sau burst onto a long ball out of defence, beat his opponent on the right-hand edge of Roma’s penalty area and picked out Nainggolan at the near post, the Belgian midfielder producing a neat finish into the far top corner of the net.
Totti’s 35th-minute free-kick restored parity at the break but Cagliari were back in front in the first minute of the second half when Goicoechea failed to hold onto a left-wing cross, almost throwing the ball into his own net.
In the 53rd minute, Sau made it 3-1 when he rose highest to head Victor Ibarbo’s cross home before the former effectively created Cagliari’s fourth goal.
Sau’s curling strike in the 71st minute rebounded off the post and Pisano was first to the rebound to wrap up the win for Cagliari, although Marquinho came off the bench to score in injury time for Roma.
Cagliari extended their unbeaten streak to four games as they moved into 13th position on the Serie A table with 24 points, while Roma (34 points) are eighth but could drop to ninth if Udinese defeat Milan on Sunday.