Hellas Verona ended their run of five consecutive defeats despite going down to 10 men, which only highlighted how poor Sassuolo are this season.
This was a pure relegation dogfight between two of the bottom five teams and defeat could be disastrous. Hellas had lost five in a row, including Monday’s 3-2 with Bologna where they fumbled the lead twice to fall in stoppages. The visitors missed Moise Kean, Alex Ferrari and Matteo Bianchetti, but Mattia Valoti was available again after suspension. Cristian Bucchi’s Sassuolo had to do without Claud Adjapong, Alfred Duncan and Timo Letschert. Domenico Berardi returned to the starting XI following injury and a missed penalty against Cagliari.
Hellas had a great chance in the opening minutes, as Alessio Cerci rolled across for Mattia Valoti, forcing a desperate one-handed save from Andrea Consigli one-on-one.
Consigli did even better with a fingertip save on Valoti, again set up by Cerci, and moments later the Sassuolo dam finally broke. Cerci was inspirational as he shook off two challenges down the right and his pull-back bounced off Valoti’s chest into the path of Bruno Zuculini for the tap-in.
Sassuolo were repeatedly torn apart down the flanks, especially the right where Cerci was having a field day. It was one-way traffic and Verona doubled their lead when Daniele Verde ran on to a long Romulo ball from inside his own half, his clean first touch allowing him to prod past the helpless Consigli.
Alessandro Matri tried to fight back, his shot charged down by Caracciolo’s chest, and Verona were increasingly pinned back in their own penalty area.
It got even worse on 67 minutes when Thomas Heurtaux received the stupidest of second yellow cards for kicking the ball away in midfield.
Sassuolo lost Berardi to a potential sprained knee, introducing Roma youth product Gianluca Scamacca. However, they were completely toothless in attack and Simone Missiroli was sent clear down the centre only to prod straight at on-rushing Nicolas.
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Sent off: Heurtaux 67 (V)