Cagliari back fourth as Balotelli lifts Brescia


Milan (AFP) – Daniele Ragatzu struck late as Cagliari snatched a comeback 2-2 draw at Sassuolo to move fourth in Serie A on Sunday, as Mario Balotelli scored his 50th Italian league goal to lift Brescia off the bottom of the table.

But Fiorentina fell to their fourth consecutive defeat 2-1 at Torino, with coach Vincenzo Montella under increasing pressure with the Tuscany side just five points above the relegation zone.

Cagliari again left it late thanks Ragatuz’s equaliser after 90 minutes, having snatched victory against Sampdoria on Monday five minutes into injury time.

The Sardinian side move fourth, four points behind third-placed Lazio, and equal on points with Roma in fifth.

Inter Milan remain top of the table after their goalless draw against Roma on Friday with champions Juventus two points behind after falling to their first defeat of the season 3-1 at Lazio on Saturday.

Sassuolo, in 14th, had been two goals up after Domenico Berardi struck after seven minutes and was then involved in Djuricic’s goal after 36 minutes.

Joao Pedro’s header got the Sardinians back into the game after the break, but Berardi missed from the spot, with Jeremie Boga having a goal ruled offside for the hosts, who had held Juventus 2-2 last time out.

A mix-up in the Sassuolo defence allowed Ragatzu to finish off, to earn a point.

– ‘Delicate moment’ –

But Fiorentina are in freefall and without injured Franck Ribery they slipped to 13th.

Former AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso is reported to be waiting in the wings to replace Montella.

“It’s a delicate moment, even the players have little peace of mind,” said Montella. 

“I have the strength continue on, I trust that things can improve.”

Balotelli scored his third goal this season to lift Brescia off the bottom of the standings with a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers SPAL, who drop to 20th place.

The former Manchester City striker tapped in after 54 minutes to get Eugenio Corini off to winning return after he was rehired less than a month after being sacked.

It was promoted Brescia’s third win this season and first since September 21 against Udinese.

“It was time for us to win a game. We have tried many times, today it was very difficult, but slowly everything turns,” said the former Inter and AC Milan forward.

“Scoring in front of the fans is beautiful, I dedicate the goal to my children.

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