Sassuolo continued their impressive run of seven points from three rounds and won this head-to-head with Atalanta.
This was a real relegation dogfight and Atalanta welcomed back German Denis from suspension after his two-match ban was halved on appeal. The Orobici were still without the injured Cristian Raimondi, Giuseppe De Luca, Luigi Giorgi, Stefano Lucchini and Mario Yepes. Sassuolo were fresh from a huge upset when holding leaders Roma to a draw at the Olimpico and again looked to 20-year-old striker Domenico Berardi.
Atalanta’s injury problems got even worse straight away, as Gianpaolo Bellini was stretchered off in agony with what appeared to be a serious thigh strain.
Marko Livaja wasted a promising counter-attack by going for goal himself when he should’ve rolled across for Denis.
The visitors were extremely unlucky and forced into another substitution, as Guglielmo Stendardo also picked up an injury.
Luca Antei’s header forced Andrea Consigli into a corner and after the restart Denis provided a back-heel flick for Maxi Moralez, but Gianluca Pegolo did well to parry at the near post from six yards.
Sassuolo took the lead just past the hour mark. Andrea Consigli got down well to beat away a Domenico Berardi free kick, but Simone Zaza was there for the follow-up from six yards.
Berardi added a second a few minutes later with his low drive on the counter-attack beating Consigli.
After Sassuolo went down to 10 men for a second Antei booking, Pegolo needed a stunning one-handed reaction save on Denis.
Sent off: Antei 76 (S)