Sassuolo managed a shock 2-0 victory away to Napoli, despite missing most of their star players, but the hosts were furious at a late penalty incident.
The Partenopei were on sparkling Serie A form and got back from an important Europa League victory away to Real Sociedad, although Lorenzo Insigne sustained another thigh injury during that game. Sassuolo were decimated by injuries, missing Francesco Caputo, Domenico Berardi, Filip Djuricic, Lukas Haraslin, Jeremy Toljan and Filippo Romagna, so Jeremie Boga returned with Giacomo Raspadori upfront and the Neroverdi moved to three at the back.
Dries Mertens fired not far wide, then Andrea Consigli needed a sensational save to deny Victor Osimhen after gifting him the ball with a terrible clearance.
Osimhen also fired just over the bar, while Consigli got his gloves to a Fabian Ruiz strike.
Hirving Lozano was fortunate to get away with an extremely clumsy challenge on Boga in the box, as the referee and VAR waved play on.
Moments later, Boga’s scorcher was fingertipped over the bar by David Ospina, while after the restart Rogerio tested the goalkeeper under pressure from Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Manuel Locatelli fired wide.
Locatelli was booked and risked something more for a lunge on Osimhen, then Consigli fingertipped a Mertens free kick round the far post.
The game turned on 58 minutes when VAR was used to spot a very clear Di Lorenzo late challenge on Raspadori, catching the striker’s foot when the ball had gone. Locatelli, who was captain for this game due to the many absentees, sent Ospina the wrong way to convert and give Sassuolo the lead.
Mertens should’ve equalised when Matteo Politano’s cross found him totally unmarked at the back post, but the Belgian somehow prodded wide from a couple of yards.
Napoli poured forward and earned numerous corners, but not many genuine chances to hurt a well-organised Sassuolo. They had the ball in the net on 90 minutes when Kostas Manolas bundled it over the line from close range, but Osimhen was offside on the original header parried by Consigli.
There was controversy at both ends on 95 minutes, as first Osimhen seemed to have his shirt slightly tugged by Marlon as he tried to get on the end of a ball that Consigli smothered.
While they were protesting, Sassuolo went on the counter and Maxime Lopez dribbled past everyone to beat Ospina with a mazy run. VAR did a silent check rather than call the referee to view the monitor and the goal was given.
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