Joel Obi could not convince Chievo Boss Ventura to hand him a starting berth as he watched the entire proceedings from the substitute bench at the Sardegna Arena.
Cagliari pushed from the start, with a couple of Nicolò Barella long-range efforts, then Leonardo Pavoletti’s acrobatic volley was deflected wide after Joao Pedro charged down a goal kick.
Pavoletti did eventually break through with a trademark header from a Joao Pedro corner, leaping above Bani.
Lucas Castro saw a spectacular over-head kick charged down by Emanuele Giaccherini, but after the restart, Giaccherini forced a save from the edge of the box and Riccardo Meggiorini’s header was well held.
Castro scored his first goal in a Cagliari jersey and he did it against his old club, unleashing a rocket from over 20 meters into the near top corner, putting a vicious swerve on it.
Chievo did create some chances as time wore on, but Valter Birsa pulled back from the by-line for Emanuele Giaccherini to horribly balloon over from 12 yards totally unmarked.
The Sardinians didn’t heed the warning and Chievo did get back into the game, as Mariusz Stepinski was allowed a totally free header from close range on Fabio Depaoli’s cross from the right.
Joel Obi’s inconsistent form could worry Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr who is hoping to have all his players active before the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa in November.