Roma were pegged back yet again by Domenico Berardi with the last kick of the game, as Sassuolo never gave up.
The Giallorossi’s perfect start of 11 opening wins came to a halt with a draw at Torino, but they were still top of the table. Leandro Castan returned from suspension, though Mehdi Benatia was now banned, with Francesco Totti and Mattia Destro injured. Sassuolo had some surprise results in their debut Serie A season, holding Napoli and Lazio, while fresh from a 4-3 victory away to Sampdoria.
Sassuolo Coach Eusebio Di Francesco won the Scudetto at Roma in 2001 and was given a warm welcome by staff, fans and former teammates.
Miralem Pjanic had a great early chance, but only hit a fresh-air shot on Marco Borriello’s assist, while Morgan De Sanctis blocked a fierce long-range Domenico Berardi effort and Gazzola’s half-volley from a corner.
Sassuolo were terribly unlucky to go behind. Alessandro Florenzi burst into the box on an Adem Ljajic through ball and forced a sensational low save from Gianluca Pegolo, but Alessandro Longhi’s clumsy attempt to clear just ended up in his own net.
Roma lost Borriello to injury after a collision with Magnanelli damaged his ankle, so Pjanic moved into the attacking trio with Michael Bradley in midfield.
In first half stoppages Ljajic’s daisy-cutter was heading into the near bottom corner, but Pegolo performed a splendid one-handed save.
Neither Florenzi nor Ljajic could get the final touch to a Douglas Maicon ball across the face of goal, then Pjanic scuffed his volley from a Castan assist.
Pegolo rushed off his line and managed to block Ljajic one-on-one with his knee after a splendid Florenzi long pass with the outside of the boot.
Ljajic dribbled his way to the by-line and tried to roll across for a teammate, but the goalkeeper got a hand to it.
Sassuolo were still in this and nearly equalised in the final minutes, but Morgan De Sanctis performed a desperate save with an outstretched foot to deny Antonio Floro Flores. At the other end, Francesco Acerbi almost scored an own goal with a wayward clearance after Ljajic tested Pegolo.
The minnows would not give up and deep into stoppages a series of ricochets in the six-yard box and possible penalty ended up with Berardi blasting under the bar! The Stadio Olimpico was silenced by the teenager with the last kick of the game.