Sassuolo had comfortably the better chances, including a sitter missed by Domenico Berardi, but Cagliari threatened a last-gasp winner from midfield.
The Neroverdi now have just three points from six rounds and were fresh from a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Juventus. The Sardinians beat SPAL last week to create a cushion from the relegation zone, but were still in danger. Leonardo Pavoletti was surprisingly dropped in favour of Diego Farias, with January buy Charalampos Lykogiannis on the wing.
Cagliari have never won a Serie A trip to Sassuolo, earning three draws and one very heavy defeat.
Khouma Babacar did well to keep a corner in play and Matteo Politano’s overhead kick whistled just wide of the upright.
The Sardinians lost Luca Cigarini to injury and introduced Marco Sau in an attacking move, the substitute immediately blasting off target from a Farias assist.
Alfred Duncan’s effort was charged down in the box, while Luca Ceppitelli turned a free header over the bar from Nicolò Barella’s set play.
At the other end, a similar move saw Simone Missiroli’s glancing header off target from a Francesco Magnanelli free kick.
Within 20 seconds of the restart, Sassuolo really should’ve been in front. Berardi sprung the offside trap to go clear and could’ve either squared it for Babacar or chipped the on-rushing Alessio Cragno, but his finish was horribly off target.
Berardi did make the right decision soon after, but Cragno read the through ball and smothered it at Babacar’s feet. He had another good opportunity with his half-volley on the turn landing on the roof of the net from a difficult angle.
Sassuolo kept pushing with Duncan and substitute Alessandro Matri, but couldn’t find a way through. Instead, Barella threatened to win it in stoppages for Cagliari with an audacious lob from midfield, forcing Andrea Consigli to back-pedal and fingertip it over the bar.
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