Matteo Politano’s curler gave Sassuolo a potentially decisive victory to stay in Serie A, but Bryan Dabo was controversially sent off for Fiorentina.
The Neroverdi were still not entirely safe from the threat of relegation, although Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Verona gave them a massive boost. Stefano Sensi, Pol Lirola and Edoardo Goldaniga were out injured and ex-Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar benched. The Viola saw their unbeaten run end with an epic 4-3 result against Lazio midweek, which meant Marco Sportiello and German Pezzella were suspended with Milan Badelj and Cyril Thereau sidelined, but Diego Falcinelli got a rare start against his former club.
Sassuolo's last success against Fiorentina came in a 4-3 thriller at the Stadio Franchi in May 2014, followed by three draws and four defeats, home and away.
Claud Adjapong forced goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski into an early test with his volley, and a Mauricio Lemos free kick was smothered.
For the second game running, Fiorentina had a player sent off in the first half, as Bryan Dabo was already on a yellow card when he tugged back Domenico Berardi on the counter and saw red. Both cards were fairly soft, but he should’ve known better than to even attempt a challenge in that situation.
The deadlock was broken by a superb strike from Matteo Politano, who cut inside for a left-foot curler into the far top corner from the edge of the box.
Fiorentina were furious on the stroke of half-time, as Berardi went sliding in as Dragowski came off his line to smother a through ball and caught the goalkeeper with his knee. The Sassuolo man was initially booked, the referee went to view it again on VAR and confirmed his decision.
Despite being down to 10 men, the visitors still created some good chances, a Marco Benassi acrobatic volley charged down in the box.
At the other end, Politano ran on to a long ball over the top and held off two defenders, but Dragowski performed a crucial one-handed save.
Dragowski was decisive again with his gloves stung by substitute Antonino Ragusa at the near post, but Adjapong was booked for simulation after a remarkable dive.
Simeone threatened to equalise on the counter with 10 minutes to go, but after running the entire length of the pitch to get on the end of a Gil Dias through ball, he ran out of steam and fired wide.
Alessandro Matri should’ve sealed it at 2-0 in stoppages, but scuffed the angled drive wide from 10 yards after a Ragusa pull-back.
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Sent off: Dabo 30 (F)