Sassuolo ended the game with nine men at the Bentegodi, but still snatched a last-gasp and fully-deserved equaliser against Chievo.
This fixture was postponed from March 4 following the sudden death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori.
These teams were more accustomed to challenging for mid-table positions than relegation, but were struggling more than expected this season. Nenad Tomovic sat out a ban for the Flying Donkeys, with Dario Dainelli, Samuel Bastien and Jaroszynski injured, but they ended a run of three consecutive defeats by beating Sampdoria 2-1 at the weekend. The Neroverdi were unbeaten in three, including last week’s 1-1 draw with Scudetto-chasing Napoli.
Khouma Babacar ballooned a great opportunity over the bar in the opening minutes, but Sassuolo went down to 10 men after Claud Adjapong’s rush of blood to the head. He tried to pounce on a poor back-pass, but went sliding in studs-up and it’s fortunate goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino wasn’t seriously hurt. At first the referee had awarded a yellow card, but after viewing it again on VAR opted for the red.
Marius Stepinski volleyed over the bar from a Hetemaj cross and 10-man Sassuolo were awarded a penalty, but the official relied on VAR to judge the Pol Lirola cross had struck Alessandro Gamberini on the shoulder rather than the arm.
Chievo finally found the breakthrough when Fabrizio Cacciatore’s cross from the right took a deflection, was allowed to bounce in the box and Emanuele Giaccherini hit the half-volley at the back stick.
To make matters worse, Sassuolo went down to nine men, as Francesco Magnanelli hauled back Sergio Pellissier on the counter for his second bookable offence.
Nonetheless, Antonino Ragusa still skimmed the upright to go very close to an equaliser.
It arrived in stoppages, as nine-man Sassuolo saw Francesco Cassata’s long range free kick go past everyone to bounce in at the far bottom corner past a stunned Sorrentino.
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Sent off: Adjapong 29 (S), Magnanelli 84 (S)