Cagliari salvages draw against Fiorentina: Serie A

Fiorentina was held to a 1-1 draw at home Sunday after a late Cagliari equalizer ended its perfect start to the Serie A season.

Lazio cruises over Chievo Verona

Giuseppe Rossi of Fiorentina, right, fights for the ball with Daniele Conti of Cagliari at Stadio Artemio Franchi on September 15, 2013 in Florence, Italy. (Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Fiorentina was held to a 1-1 draw at home Sunday after a late Cagliari equalizer ended its perfect start to the Serie A season.

Vincenzo Montella's team dominated but failed to make the most of its opportunities. It eventually took the lead in the 71st minute when Giuseppe Rossi nodded Alberto Aquilani's cross on for Borja Valero to head home.

Fiorentina looked set to clinch a third straight victory but Mauricio Pinilla headed Victor Ibarbo's cross in off the inside of the post in the final minute.

Matters grew worse for Fiorentina when David Pizarro was sent off in stoppage time for a comment he made to the referee after Rossi was denied a penalty.

"Since I've been in management I have tried not to comment on refereeing decisions, but I feel the need to say something now," Montella said. "I'll accept a mistake on the pitch, but I don't accept the fact that there's no consistency in judging incidents, you see pictures of players clearly insulting the referee and they don't get punished.

"There needs to be uniformity, or you lose credibility. Let's not talk about conspiracies because I'm not saying or thinking that, but we can't accept certain situations after going through them last season too."

Fiorentina also had star players Mario Gomez and Juan Cuadrado forced off with injuries. Gomez, who was signed from Bayern Munich in the off-season, has sprained his knee with ligament damage and could be out for up to six weeks.

Fiorentina is two points behind Napoli, which still has a perfect record after a 2-0 victory over Atalanta on Saturday. Roma could join last year's runner up at the top of the standings if it wins at Parma Monday.

Genoa picked up its first points of the season with a 3-0 win at city rival Sampdoria in the Derby della Lanterna on Sunday night.

There had been a bizarre buildup to the match with Sampdoria catching a Genoa youth team coach in full camouflage gear hiding in the bushes to spy on a training session.

Luca Antonini was making his debut after signing from Milan and he got his Genoa career off to the perfect start by volleying home Davide Biondini's cross from 15 yards in the ninth minute. It was the defender's fifth goal in 149 Serie A appearances.

Emanuele Calaio also scored on his debut, doubling Genoa's lead five minutes after halftime when he fired in Sime Vrsaljko's cross. It was another new signing who sealed the points as Francesco Lodi curled one of his trademark free kicks into the top left corner in the 66th minute.

That goal sparked scenes of jubilation on the Genoa bench and coach Fabio Liverani raced onto the pitch to hug the players.

"After two straight defeats, many difficulties and then a derby like this, at the 3-0 we all released some of that pent up tension," Liverani said after his first ever Serie A win. "I don't think these scenes will be repeated ever again."

Lazio posts shutout

In the afternoon matches, a clinical Lazio cruised to a 3-0 victory over Chievo Verona, with all its goals coming in the first half.

Antonio Candreva got the home side off to the perfect start when his effort was deflected past Chievo goalkeeper Christian Puggioni in the eighth minute following a counter.

Lazio doubled its lead against the run of play in the 38th minute. Puggioni flapped at Cristian Ledesma's cross and Luis Pedro Cavanda volleyed it in from a tight angle for his first Serie A goal.

Senad Lulic all but sealed the result three minutes later, drilling home Eddy Onazi's through ball.

Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale snatched a point for his side as a late goal on his 300th appearance for the club secured a 1-1 draw against Bologna.

Alessandro Diamanti had given Bologna the lead in the 71st minute with a stunning free kick into the top corner but Di Natale volleyed home Luis Muriel's pass five minutes from time.

Sassuolo remains pointless after wasting an astonishing number of chances in a 2-0 loss at fellow promoted side Hellas Verona.

Raphael Martinho and Romulo scored for Verona, which beat AC Milan on the opening day of the season.

The other promoted side, Livorno, beat Catania 2-0 with a second-half brace from Paulinho. Catania is also still to pick up a point.


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