Andrea Belotti scored a contender for goal of the season, his acrobatic scissor-kick volley the highlight as Torino beat Sassuolo 3-0.
Both sides started the season with a draw, but the Granata were furious that their winner against Bologna was incorrectly disallowed. Daniele Baselli, Lucas Boye and Mirko Valdifiori were injured, while the visitors missed Cristian Dell’Orco.
This tie has still never ended in a stalemate with two Serie A victories for the visitors, three the hosts.
Alex Berenguer got the ball caught under his feet at the back post and couldn’t turn in Iago Falque’s assist from a yard after just three minutes, while Lorenzo De Silvestri created a very similar situation that again wasn’t finalised.
Andrea Consigli fingertipped an Adem Ljajic free kick away from both Andrea Belotti and the far top corner, then Il Gallo drilled wide.
Diego Falcinelli at full stretch couldn’t meet a Pol Lirola assist and Sassuolo began to gain ground, Domenico Berardi’s effort blocked under the bar after a series of corners.
Berardi blasted just over, but it was Torino who took the lead with a contender for goal of the season. It was a great team move too, N’Koulou flicking it over a defender, the cross coming in from the right by De Silvestri for Belotti’s acrobatic mid-air side-ways volley from 12 yards into the far top corner. Spectacular.
Antonio Barreca made a goal-saving block on Simone Missiroli’s diving header straight after the restart, but at the other end Tomas Rincon’s curler skimmed the upright.
An Alfred Duncan cross-shot surprised Salvatore Sirigu to clip the frame of the goal and Ljajic nutmegged a defender to force Consigli to save with his foot at the near post.
Torino were awarded a penalty on 58 minutes for a Paolo Cannavaro handling offence, but after consulting VAR technology, the referee ruled he had nodded the ball on to his arm during a diving header, so it could not be considered voluntary.
Cannavaro was involved at the other end too, slipping at the crucial moment when trying to tap in a Duncan cross.
Simone Edera came off the bench for Toro and within 10 seconds had drilled just wide of the far post.
Duncan gifted Torino their second goal with an awful back-pass intercepted by Iago Falque, who kept his cool to roll across for unmarked Ljajic to tap into an empty net.
Moments later, Belotti dribbled into the box and his shot was deflected into the path of Joel Obi for the third goal.
Referee Mazzoleni also awarded a penalty to Sassuolo in the final minute, but that too was revoked when VAR showed an offside position before the De Silvestri nudge.