Gervinho certainly knows how to make a comeback, as he scored the winner on his return to the Parma line-up, but Sassuolo were very unlucky.
The Neroverdi were on a roll after back-to-back wins over Roma and SPAL, but missed Hamed Junior Traore, Alessandro Tripaldelli and Vlad Chiriches. Every time Parma thought their injury crisis was calming down, it flared up again. Juraj Kucka, Dejan Kulusevski, Roberto Inglese, Matteo Scozzarella, Luigi Sepe and Antonio Barillà didn’t make the very short trip for this local derby, but Gervinho did return after his January transfer to Al-Sadd fell through.
As expected, Sassuolo took control early on and dominated possession, with Kyriakopoulos over the bar, then Jeremie Boga pulled it back from the by-line for Pedro Obiang to somehow fire straight at the goalkeeper from point-blank range.
Moments later, that would prove a very costly error, because Parma took the lead. Andreas Cornelius broke away on the counter from midfield and crossed to the back post for Gervinho’s trademark tap-in. It was the ideal way to return to the team after apologising for trying to force through a January move to Qatar.
Sassuolo tried to fight back immediately, but Francesco Caputo’s angled drive scraped a coat of paint off the far post.
Matteo Darmian limped off injured just before half-time and it remained a dominant display from the Neroverdi, albeit while losing.
Caputo just failed to get on the end of a Jeremy Toljan assist, Domenico Berardi’s overhead kick skimmed the woodwork.
Manuel Locatelli was so unlucky not to equalise on 80 minutes, his ferocious right-foot effort from 20 metres bouncing off the underside of the crossbar.
Yet Parma nearly doubled their advantage with a spectacular solo effort from Giuseppe Pezzella, his volley from distance dipping viciously for Andrea Consigli to fingertip over the bar.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk