Parma, 15 December 2020 – When it comes to fixtures between Parma and Cagliari at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, there’s one match that particularly stands out: the Crociati’s epic 3-2 win on 6 March 2005, with Fabio Simplicio scoring a 94th-minute winner during a season that ended with that historic relegation playoff victory over Bologna.

Our next showdown against the Isolani is coming up on Wednesday 16 December (20:45 CET kick-off), a day when we’ll celebrate our 107th birthday.

It’s not the first time that Parma have come up against Cagliari on this very special date: indeed, the two teams met on Sunday 16 December 2012, when the Ducali turned 99 years old.

And it’s precisely that match that we’re looking back on in our Crociati History column today.

Eight years ago, Parma celebrated their birthday in style, running out 4-1 winners against Cagliari in a dominant display.

Taking centre stage that day was Ishak Belfodil, who, in addition to bagging a brace, played a key role in Parma’s link-up play.

However, the match didn’t start well for the Crociati.

Indeed, the away side took the lead on the 20-minute mark through Marco Sau, who, after being picked out by Andrea Cossu, produced a lovely finish to get the better of Nicola Pavarini, who was standing in for the injured Antonio Mirante.

Nevertheless, the Crociati were able to react ruthlessly and immediately: the next attack brought the next goal of the game with 21 minutes on the clock. The young Belfodil scored his first goal of the day, climbing aboveLorenzo Ariaudo to meet Jaime Valdes’ cross and bring Parma level.

The Crociati would have to wait until the second half to net their second after running a few risks towards the end of the opening period. The goal to make it 2-1 came in the 54th minute. Belfodil, in inspired form, went for a lovely lob, only to see Michael Agazzi get back to claw it onto the post. However, the goalkeeper couldn’t stop Jonathan Biabiany latching onto the rebound and tapping it into the net.

Cagliari looked to respond, with Radja Nainggolan, who had come on for Cossu, unleashing a thunderous right-footed volley that was magnificently saved by Pavarini.

The Crociati then extended their advantage after 65 minutes. Our midfielder Marco Parolo, who had been played in by Marco Marchionni, was brought down by the outrushing Agazzi, resulting in a Parma penalty that was converted by Valdes.

But the Ducali weren’t done there: after Parolo had seen his long-range strike palmed onto the post by Agazzi, Belfodil picked up the ball. The Algerian then got the better of two Cagliari defenders with some wonderful skill before curling the ball into the far corner.

With 86 minutes on the clock, Belfodil had put the game to bed with an absolute gem of a goal and Parma’s birthday celebrations had truly begun.

Header: Belfodil and Biabiany celebrate in front of the Curva Nord. Photos: Biabiany celebrates his goal; Valdes scores from the penalty spot; the Chilean midfielder celebrates his goal with his teammates; former Crociati in front of the Curva Nord to celebrate Parma’s 99th anniversary together with the fans. Below: bannersbeing displayed in the Curva Nord.