Claudio Ranieri was able to offer a calm analysis of his team’s performance at Sardegna Arena despite the tumultuous finale, which saw Sampdoria concede a late winner after letting a 3-1 lead slip.
“We messed up the last 15 minutes,” the boss admitted. “We lost our way in the area, where we had been so ferocious in the first half. We let them through to our keeper too often and didn’t block them as we should have. It’s a real shame: a team that scores three goals away from home and leaves empty-handed. It was a wonderful game and up till that point we managed to keep them out, just as we’d prepared. Then we made a few mistakes. The only regret is we conceded the second while [Gaston] Ramirez was on the side of the pitch."
“Cagliari had a little bit more than us at the end. ‘Stay tight on your men’ – that’s what I always tell my players, but it wasn’t enough. We’ll take another look at the goal. I think we could have done better with our free kick in added time too, when we were still level. We took it and then they came down our end – that’s where their goal came from. It’s all experience. We have to learn from our mistakes and move on.”
The one positive note from the evening was Fabio Quagliarella, who is looking like the striker of old, displaying all his class with a sumptuous volley having opened the scoring from the spot.
“Fabio had been finding the net in training for several weeks and I knew it was only a matter of time. I’m confident in him – he’s rediscovered his mental and physical form. Serie A TIM’s top scorer doesn’t suddenly forget how to score goals.”
(Photo Getty Images)