Napoli incredibly lost their perfect record to bottom of the table Sassuolo, held to a 1-1 draw at the San Paolo.
Rafa Benitez’s men were on fire with a 100 per cent record in all competition and fresh from Sunday’s 2-1 victory away to Milan. On the other hand, Sassuolo suffered a shock 7-0 home defeat to Inter at the weekend and were still without a single point. Christian Maggio is out for a month following knee surgery, while the visitors were without Carl Valeri, Luca Marrone, Emanuele Terranova and Gomes, but finally had Domenico Berardi available after his lengthy ban.
Napoli rotated the squad, but Gonzalo Higuain still started and stung Gianluca Pegolo’s gloves from distance.
Blerim Dzemaili broke the deadlock with one of his trademark rockets from distance that flew past a helpless Pegolo.
Sassuolo had scored only one Serie A goal so far this season and once again it was Simone Zaza on target with a fantastic strike. He ran on to a through ball and smacked it in off the crossbar from a totally improbable angle.
Paolo Bianco threw himself at Marek Hamsik’s shot to charge it down from six yards, then Pegolo flew to palm a Dries Mertens screamer out for a corner.
It was very nearly 2-1 to bottom of the table Sassuolo, as Giandomenico Mesto needed a desperate goalline clearance to deny Zaza with Pepe Reina out of action. Hamsik’s daisy-cutter also skimmed the back post.
Napoli should’ve taken the lead when a corner came to Federico Fernandez, who fired straight at the goalkeeper’s legs from six yards.
Napoli really struggled to find a way through Sassuolo and Jasmin Kurtic had a good chance deflected out for a corner. Zaza had penalty appeals and as the move continued Reina fingertipped a header out from under the bar.
Sassuolo earned the first point in their Serie A history.