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By ESPN Staff

Serie A: Frustrated Lazio held by Cagliari

ROME, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Lazio had two men sent off in their Serie A match against relegation candidates Cagliari and were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

The result left Lazio ninth on 30 points, 23 behind leaders Juventus, who play Empoli on Sunday. Cagliari climbed to 15th on 19 points, four above the drop zone.

Lazio dominated the early stages and went ahead in the 36th minute when Paolo Di Canio nodded Massimo Oddo's cross past visiting keeper Antonio Chimenti.

The balance began to turn five minutes later, however, when defender Sebastiano Siviglia was red-carded for kicking out at Nelson Abeijon.

In the second-half Cagliari exploited the growing spaces in Lazio's defence to grab a 69th-minute equaliser, Massimo Gobbi tapping in Andrea Capone's low cross at the far post.

The growing frustration of Lazio's players exploded after they had a goal disallowed for offside.

As resentment simmered, midfielder Fabio Liverani was booked for a foul and then had his yellow card turned to red for protesting to leave nine team mates to fend off Cagliari's attacks for the final 10 minutes.

In a later match, second-placed Inter Milan were at home to Palermo at the San Siro stadium (kickoff 1930 GMT).