Cheick Diabate and Matteo Politano grabbed a brace each as Benevento picked up their first away point of the season and kept Sassuolo in danger.
This was a game the Neroverdi simply had to win, as they were only three points clear of the relegation zone and hosting the side propping up the table, but had one victory in the last 13 rounds. Stefano Sensi, Edoardo Goldaniga and Pol Lirola were injured, but Claud Adjapong and Francesco Magnanelli returned from suspension. Le Streghe missed Ledian Memushaj, Marco D’Alessandro, Luca Antei and banned Fabio Lucioni.
Francesco Cassata spotted Christian Puggioni off his line and attempted a lob from outside the area, but it landed on the roof of the net. In a desperate attempt to get back there and clear, Sandro accidentally tore the net, so Sassuolo teammates gave Matteo Politano a leg-up to fix it.
Politano also had a shot on goal, firing just off target, but Benevento took the surprise lead at the Mapei Stadium.
Cheick Diabate has been on fire recently and he sprung the offside trap on an inspired Filip Djuricic back-heel flick, waited for Andrea Consigli to commit himself and chipped it delicately over the goalkeeper.
Guilherme was stretchered off with an injury, replaced by Enrico Brignola, and Benevento failed to make the most of a promising counter-attack with Diabate.
Sassuolo did get their equaliser when Khouma Babacar got to the by-line and pulled back for relatively unmarked Politano to turn in from 12 yards.
Benevento should’ve restored their lead moments later after Claud Adjapong slipped, but Diabate’s assist for Pietro Iemmello was too close to the goalkeeper.
On the stroke of half-time, Tosca was brought down by Francesco Magnanelli right on the edge of the area and it took a few minutes for VAR to decide whether it was inside the box or not.
Babacar’s header whistled wide on a Rogerio cross, but Politano was on target again for his brace. He was left in acres of space on a Babacar slide-rule pass and dinked it over the goalkeeper from a tricky angle.
Benevento would not give in and the bottom of the table club came back again, a Danilo Cataldi pull back from the by-line finding Diabate to turn in his second of the match. It was the Mali international’s third consecutive double.
Andrea Consigli got an accidental knock during that move and had to come off a few minutes later, giving Gianluca Pegolo his first appearance of the season.
Enrico Brignola turned the chance at a winner wide in stoppages, his header off target from Bacary Sagna’s cross, then Sassuolo had an opportunity to take the spoils too, but Politano’s curler flashed just wide.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk