Andrej Galabinov was allowed a free header to give Genoa a much-needed victory over Sassuolo.
This was a relegation dogfight between sides recovering from dire starts thanks to their new Coaches. The Grifone were unbeaten in three, although Mattia Perin was the decisive figure last week against Torino. Beppe Iachini completely transformed the Neroverdi, who notched up three straight wins and then held Roma to a 1-1 draw at the Olimpico.
Miguel Veloso and Armando Izzo missed out for the hosts, while the visitors had Domenico Berardi back in the squad, but Stefano Sensi, Davide Biondini and Timo Letschert were still sidelined.
Sassuolo had won two of their last three meetings with Genoa, home and away, drawing the other and keeping clean sheets throughout that run.
Goran Pandev sent Gianluca Lapadula clear, but he blasted just wide of the near post. The former Pescara and Milan striker was left with a nasty nosebleed after a collision with goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.
The ball fell kindly for Domenico Berardi, who fired straight at Simone Missiroli, but Sassuolo kicked up a gear once Alessandro Matri came off the bench.
He forced a stunning save from Mattia Perin on a Federico Peluso cross from close range, then saw another attempt come off the near post.
Galabinov too forced a desperate block from Andrea Consigli with his curler from the edge of the area.
The only goal of the game was a gift from the Sassuolo defence, as Galabinov was left totally unmarked for a free header on Birsachi’s cross from the left.
Sassuolo threatened an equaliser, but Berardi and Antonino Ragusa turned off target.