The tension was sky high at the Olimpico, as Pedro saw red before half-time, yet Roma ultimately had the best chances, both the Giallorossi and Sassuolo seeing goals disallowed.
This was a head-to-head for third place, as only one point separated the teams going in, and both were coming off their first, heavy defeats of the season.
They also had lengthy absentee lists, with Chris Smalling, Gianluca Mancini, Davide Santon, Jordan Veretout and Nicolò Zaniolo out for the hosts, while Francesco Caputo, Andrea Consigli, Gregoire Defrel, Vlad Chiriches and Filippo Romagna didn’t make the trip. Sassuolo reshuffled with Filip Djuricic moved further forward and Maxime Lopez into a trequartista role.
Both teams like to attack with quick passing, but that was made difficulty by a soggy pitch following heavy rainfall in the warm-up.
Manuel Locatelli drilled just wide and Antonio Mirante came rushing out to smother at Djuricic’s feet, as Roma seemed committed to the defend and counter approach, which almost worked with Pedro firing over from a Leonardo Spinazzola assist.
However, Pedro Rodriguez received two yellow cards in the first half and left the Giallorossi down to 10 men.
Despite that, Roma thought they had taken the lead through Mkhitaryan, but there was a foul in the build-up. Edin Dzeko had sent Lorenzo Pellegrini clear, but for some reason the midfielder tried to pass it back again, so the forward had to foul Locatelli tracking back to intercept. It was spotted on VAR and the referee disallowed the goal.
The tension kept escalating and at half-time Roma coach Paulo Fonseca was sent off for dissent.
Despite the situation, the Giallorossi started the second half brightly, Pegolo getting his hand to a Spinazzola effort at the near post.
Spinazzola was a constant thorn in Sassuolo’s side and almost created a goal on the hour mark, but Dzeko redirected his cross onto the upright.
Dzeko also spun and fired wide from the edge of the area, but Lukas Haraslin had the ball in the net with a fantastic curler from distance just moments after coming off the bench. However, that goal too was disallowed, this time for offside.
It remained end to end stuff, Dzeko stinging Pegolo’s gloves at the near post, but Pedro Obiang was perhaps fortunate to only get a yellow card for going in high on Pellegrini’s ankle.
Spinazzola then had penalty appeals waved away, as he fired the cross into Ayhan’s hand from point-blank range.
It remained open to the last kick of the game, a Sassuolo corner that Medhi Bourabia nodded inches wide.
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Sent off: Pedro 41 (R)