Mon, February 02, 2009
Sports > Soccer

Cagliari dent Juve title hopes

2009-02-02 07:09:00 GMT2009-02-02 15:09:00 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

Cagliari's Alessandro Matri (2nd R) celebrates with his team mates after scoring a third goal against Juventus during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Turin January 31, 2009. [Agencies]

Juventus' Pavel Nedved (L) shoots to score a second goal against Cagliari during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Turin January 31, 2009. [Agencies]

Juventus' Alessandro Del Piero reacts against Cagliari during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Turin January 31, 2009. [Agencies]

Juventus's Amauri (R) fights for the ball with Cagliari's Francesco Pisano during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Turin January 31, 2009. [Agencies]

ROME -- Serie A's in-form team Cagliari stunned Juventus 3-2 at Turin's Olympic Stadium to put a huge dent in the Italian giants' title hopes on Saturday.

Goals from Momo Sissoko and Pavel Nedved gave Juve the lead at halftime following Davide Biondini's opener, but Brazilian Jeda and Alessandro Matri struck after the break to record a famous victory for the Sardinians.

It means second-placed Juventus, who lost their second game in a row, faced the prospect of falling nine points behind leaders Inter Milan in Turin on Sunday.

For Cagliari it was a fourth straight victory and leaves them unbeaten in five matches - their only dropped points where in a 1-1 draw at Inter - since the turn of the year.

Juventus came close to breaking the deadlock on 12 minutes as the excellent Sissoko played a one-two with Amauri before poking wide as he stretched for the return.

Cagliari sprung a surprise on 16 minutes, though, as they took the lead following some shoddy defending by the hosts.

Michele Fini sent over a deep cross from the right to the back post where the dimunitive Marco Marchionni was left to mark Biondini who easily climbed above his man to head powerfully past Gianluigi Buffon.

The lead lasted only a quarter of an hour before Sissoko levelled matters, rising highest in the box to head home an Alessandro Del Piero corner.

Things got even better for Juve on 38 minutes as Nedved's cross into the box was only half cleared and the Czech veteran himself followed up to smash home a half-volley from just inside the area.

Earlier, Napoli gave up a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Udinese in Naples.

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