Andrea Belotti completed the comeback with an overhead kick stunner, as Torino squeezed past 10-man Sassuolo after missing a penalty and seeing a very harsh red card.
It looked for a while as if the Granata were going to throw away the chance to stay in the European hunt, while Medhi Bourabia will be understandably frustrated at his dismissal for over-celebrating just 28 minutes in.
Tomas Rincon sat out a ban with Koffi Djidji and Vittorio Parigini injured, but Simone Zaza was again benched in favour of Alex Berenguer. Both Domenico Berardi and Ola Aina weren’t even on the bench after coming down with flu. Sassuolo also missed Giangiacomo Magnani, so Stefano Sensi was used in the trident attack with Filip Djuricic and Jeremie Boga.
The pressure was on the Granata to win in the race for Europe, as Atalanta, Milan and Lazio had already won their games on Saturday.
Andrea Consigli flew to palm away a dangerous Lorenzo De Silvestri header in the opening minutes and as the move continued, Francesco Magnanelli deflected a follow-up Marco Benassi cross with the top of his arm. The referee opted for a penalty after the on-field VAR review, but Andrea Belotti stepped up and fired it on to the crossbar.
Things went from bad to worse, as Cristian Ansaldi limped off to make way for Iago Falque after just 22 minutes, then even worse again when Sassuolo took the lead.
Against the run of play, Mehdi Bourabia gathered from outside the box and hit a precise right-foot daisy-cutter into the far bottom corner. However, there was another huge twist in the tale, as Bourabia was already on a very soft yellow card when he celebrated by pulling half his shirt over his head in the Fabrizio Ravanelli style – the referee considered that to still be worthy of a second booking and reduced Sassuolo to 10 men.
Armando Izzo and Iago Falque forces saves, while Jeremie Boga drilled just wide for 10-man Sassuolo.
Straight after the restart, Belotti almost made up for his penalty miss with a sensational over-head kick, but Consigli fingertipped it out from under the bar.
Belotti eventually did get Toro level, bundling over the line from a couple of yards as De Silvestri chested down a cross-field pass and rolled it back into the six-yard box.
Berenguer fired over after a defensive error, then Simone Zaza shot straight at Consigli at the back post, but Toro were made to pay for wasting so many chances.
Incredibly, 10-man Sassuolo restored their advantage to silence the crowd. Jeremie Boga went on a fantastic run down the left, riding two tackles to force a Salvatore Sirigu save, then on the rebound Pol Lirola had to think quickly, turning in from five yards with a cheeky back-heel flick.
It was nowhere near over, because Zaza ran on to a Soualiho Meite through ball, sprung the offside trap and placed his angled drive into the far bottom corner.
Mere moments later, Belotti completed the turnaround in spectacular fashion. He’d tried the overhead kick earlier and forced a save, he scored one in this fixture last season and Il Gallo did it again with a textbook strike from 13 yards into the bottom corner.
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Missed penalty: Belotti 17 (T)
Sent off: Bourabia 28 (S)