Matteo Politano scored one and assisted another for Edoardo Goldaniga, as Sassuolo ruined Walter Zenga’s debut on the Crotone bench.
It could’ve been 3-1 to the Neroverdi, but Alessandro Matri saw a late penalty saved by Alex Cordaz.
Both sides had recently changed management, as Beppe Iachini replaced Cristian Bucchi, while on Tuesday Davide Nicola surprisingly handed in his resignation, claiming the President had lost confidence by entering the locker room at half-time in their 3-0 defeat to Udinese. Zenga was only appointed on Friday and made his debut here.
Francesco Magnanelli was suspended for the hosts, who also missed Claud Adjapong, Davide Biondini, Timo Letschert and Stefano Sensi. The Calabrese club had to do without Andrea Nalini, Mariano Izco and Marco Tumminello.
Diego Falcinelli had a shot charged down and as the move continued Bruno Martella required an acrobatic clearance to stop Matteo Politano tapping in at the back post.
Ante Budimir sprung the offside trap on a Federico Barberis free kick, but only managed to graze the ball with his head when one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Simone Missiroli’s scorcher flashed just wide of the near top corner and Alex Cordaz smothered a low Falcinelli attempt, but Domenico Berardi was booked for insulting the referee.
Berardi’s strike was deflected wide of the upright, but the deadlock was finally broken with only Sassuolo’s second home goal of the season.
Politano put in a cross from the left and Edoardo Goldaniga got in front of his marker for a glancing header at the near post into the far top corner.
Simone Missiroli got another header from a corner, which Cordaz palmed away from point-blank range, but it then ricocheted off Francesco Acerbi and back out.
Sassuolo were clearly more fired up in the second half and doubled their advantage with a wonderful piece of individual skill from Politano. He spun with a ‘veronica’ to get away from a sliding tackle and curled a stunner into the corner from outside the box.
Crotone got back into the game with an odd goal, as the Rolando Mandragora cross came in from the left and Budimir pressured Acerbi into getting the final touch, as the ball rolled slowly over the line.
This revitalised the Squali and moments later Andrea Consigli struggled to clear a poor Acerbi back-pass, then flew to palm a Barberis strike out from under the bar.
Budimir really should’ve equalised on 74 minutes when he gathered the ball in the six-yard box, but hesitated and allowed Federico Peluso to get back in time for the block.
Francesco Cassata was booked for his very high tackle on Ceccherini that some referees might’ve considered a red card offence.
Politano was on fine form and curled just past the far top corner, while Cordaz denied Falcinelli from a tight angle.
Cordaz prevented Arlind Ajeti from scoring an own goal with his terrible scuffed clearance on a corner and it fell to Alessandro Matri, whose shirt was tugged by Mario Sampirisi. Matri stepped up, but his penalty was well saved by Cordaz to keep the game open.
Saved pen: Matri 88 (S)