Serie A Week 28 - 11 Mar 2018 (14.00 UK)
Sassuolo 1 - 1 Spal
Antenucci 27 (Sp), Babacar pen 31 (Sa)
Mapei Stadium

It was a tale of three penalties, only two of them converted and Mattia Politano’s saved by Alex Meret, as this result is bad for both teams.

This was a desperate relegation dogfight, as Verona’s victory over Chievo last night left the drop zone increasingly tight. SPAL were climbing up the standings after two straight wins against Crotone and Bologna, but Federico Mattiello sat out a ban with injured Marco Borriello. Domenico Berardi continued his suspension and Alessandro Matri was not fully fit. Beppe Iachini’s men were without a victory since December 23, scoring only three goals in eight rounds and conceding 18.

Andrea Consigli fingertipped a Filippo Costa free kick round the far post, but Mirco Antenucci put SPAL in front with a precise angled drive at the near bottom corner.

However, soon after the hosts were awarded a penalty when Manuel Lazzari used his arm to charge down a Matteo Politano cross. Khouma Babacar sent Alex Meret the wrong way to draw Sassuolo level.

SPAL were penalised for yet another Alberto Grassi handling offence in the area, as confirmed via VAR, but this time Politano stepped up and his effort was parried by Meret.

Sassuolo continued to push and moments later Babacar’s header hit the crossbar on an Alfred Duncan corner. Babacar threatened again, one attempt charged down and the other scuffed into Meret’s arms.

In the final minutes both sides had chances, as Babacar’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal with Alessandro Matri unable to get there.

Alberto Grassi then had penalty appeals, but he seemed to be the one dragging Claud Adjapong by the jersey.

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Sassuolo: Consigli; Lirola, Acerbi, Goldaniga, Peluso; Missiroli (Matri 75), Magnanelli, Duncan (Mazzitelli 64); Politano, Babacar, Ragusa (Adjapong 83)
Spal: Meret; Cionek, Vicari, Felipe; Lazzari, Grassi, Schiattarella (Everton Luiz 89), Kurtic, Costa (Drame’ 81); Paloschi (Floccari 70), Antenucci
Ref: Doveri

Saved pen: Politano 45 (Sa)