Gianluca Lapadula

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Lecce completes comeback in wild finish over Cagliari

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When Radja Nainggolan put Cagliari 2-0 up over Lecce, it seemed the newly-promoted side was sunk at home in an otherwise unremarkable Serie A match.

Then the last 10 minutes happened.

Three players were sent off and two goals were scored as the home side completed a wild comeback and earned a critical point in the relegation battle. Gianluca Lapadula struck from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute, and Marco Calderoni cropped up a minute into stoppage time to secure the draw.

It wasn’t just goals, however, that made the end of the match so exhilarating. Fabrizio Cacciatore and Robin Olsen were both shown straight red cards in the 81st and 85th minute respectively, which Cagliari down to nine men, while Lapadula was given an early shower soon after.

Cacciatore’s red came as he kept out an Andrea La Mantia header with his arm, reaching out to intentionally save the shot – which would have been lauded as the save of the match had he actually, you know, been the goalkeeper. The final two were particularly explosive, with Olsen sent off for shoving Lapadula to the ground immediately after the penalty was scored, while Lapadula was given yellow for his role in the scuffle, his second of the match.

Still, Lecce’s man advantage was critical in the final goal as Calderoni took a feed from Panagiotis Tachtsidis standing straight atop the box, and his through ball was met with a vicious low left-footed strike from Calderoni, leaving Cagliari goalkeeper Rafael late to react. The moment came on a mis-match as two defenders were there to cover three attackers and Calderoni made the most of the situation.

The point sees Lecce just outside the relegation area, in 17th on 11 points, one above Genoa and two on top of SPAL.

Ranieri: Leicester is tracking Serie B star Lapadula

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Leicester City may have won the 2015-16 Premier League crown but the team has its sights set on a player that could bolster their squad come next season.

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Manager Claudio Ranieri has confirmed that the team is actively pursuing Serie B star Gianluca Lapadula of Pescara.

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Ranieri told Gazzetta dello Sport:

“We’re looking at players in Italy. Lapadula is a good player. We’ve been following him for some time,” Ranieri said.

The 26-year-old striker leads the Italian second flight with 24 goals in 38 matches this season. Lapadula is attempting to guide his Pescara side to promotion into Serie A, and will likely be involved in the league’s playoff to determine the third team that will make the jump to the top division.

Throw this guy in with double-digit goalscorers Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez and you’ll surely have something fun to watch on Saturdays next season.

Follow @MattReedFutbol