Matteo Politano’s strike from a tight angle ended Sampdoria’s Europa League hopes and mathematically secured Sassuolo safety.
The Neroverdi were almost safe from the threat of relegation, but missed Edoardo Goldaniga and Pol Lirola. Samp needed a victory to keep the pressure on Milan, Atalanta and Fiorentina in the race for a Europa League spot, but came in with an injury crisis, as Duvan Zapata, Ricky Alvarez and Nicola Murru were out, plus Gaston Ramirez, Gianluca Caprari and Fabio Quagliarella carrying knocks.
Sassuolo lost Cristian Dell’Orco to a knee injury within 20 minutes, replaced by Federico Peluso.
Domenico Berardi went on a slalom from midfield past three opponents and stung the gloves of Emiliano Viviano, then acrobatically tried to volley the rebound into the path of Stefano Sensi for another block.
Samp were caught in possession several times during the first half, but the finishing from Alfred Duncan and Claud Adjapong let them off the hook.
Berardi had the ball in the net only after a push in the back on Andersen, then Viviano fingertipped a Politano control and volley over the bar.
Sassuolo were easily the more impressive side and took a deserved lead when Berardi won back possession in midfield, Duncan threaded through and Politano down the left somehow squeezed his rising finish between Viviano and the near post from a very tight angle.
A victory would secure Serie A safety for Beppe Iachini’s men and they held on, as Samp couldn’t muster any genuine chances.
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