Cagliari extends unbeaten Serie A run; Balotelli on 50 goals

Brescia's Mario Balotelli, left, scores during the Italian Serie A soccer match between SPAL and Brescia, at the Paolo Mazza stadium in Ferrara, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2019. (Elisabetta Baracchi/ANSA via AP)

ROME (AP) Surprise package Cagliari came back from two goals down to extend its unbeaten run to 13 Serie A games with a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo on Sunday.

The Sardinian club, which has not finished in the top half of the Italian league since the 2008-09 season, remained fourth in the table, above Roma on goal difference.

Fresh from a 2-2 draw at Juventus, Sassuolo built a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes through goals from Domenico Berardi and Filip Djuricic.

Cagliari improved after the interval as Joao Pedro pulled one back with a header.

Berardi missed a penalty in the 66th that would have restored Sassuolo's two-goal advantage before subatitute Daniele Ragatzu snatched a last-minute equalizer 12 minutes after coming on.

Following back-to-back defeats at the start of the season, Cagliari has been in tremendous form under the influence of Radja Nainggolan, who is on loan from Inter.

Simone Zaza made the most of a rare start to score as Torino inflicted a fourth straight loss on Fiorentina.

Zaza put the hosts in the lead in the 21st minute with a header from Cristian Ansaldi's cross. Ansaldi, an Argentine fullback, made it 2-0 in the 72nd before Martin Caceres pulled one back in stoppage time.

The 2-1 defeat left Fiorentina in 13th place, 22 points behind leader Inter.

Forward Mario Balotelli scored to give Brescia a 1-0 win at SPAL and lift his team off the bottom spot.

It was Balotelli's 50th Serie A goal and he dedicated it to his daughter and son.

"For me it's important to save Brescia," Balotelli said. "That's what I have in mind."

SPAL dropped to 20th, one point behind Brescia.

AC Milan put on a fine offensive display to secure a 3-2 win at Bologna with goals from Krzysztof Piatek, Theo Hernandez and Giacomo Bonaventura.

Tenth-place Milan improved its excellent record at Bologna, where it is unbeaten since 2002 in Serie A, and moved four points ahead of its opponent.

The Rossoneri led 2-0 after 32 minutes but Hernandez unintentionally put the hosts back in the game when he deflected the ball into his own goal from a corner before halftime.

Bonaventura restored Milan's two-goal cushion just one minute into the second half by curling a superb left-footed shot into the bottom corner. Nicola Sansone pulled one back from the spot in the 84th minute.

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Updated December 8, 2019

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