Sassuolo saw their 100 per cent record ruined, as Pescara were awarded a 3-0 win due to an ineligible player. The Neroverdi had won this game 2-1 on the night, but were stripped of the points for failing to register Antonino Ragusa with the Lega Serie A.
This was bound to be an intriguing clash between two teams with attack-minded Coaches and a focus on young home-grown talent. Eusebio Di Francesco hosted his hometown club and was fresh from Europa League qualification, beating Red Star 4-1 on aggregate this week. Simone Missiroli and Emanuele Terranova were injured, while Pescara were smarting after fumbling a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Napoli.
The Delfini had a very strong start, as Andrea Consigli got his fingertips to a Gianluca Caprari effort and reacted very quickly to parry a deflected Memushaj pull-back from point-blank range.
Caprari ran on to a Gaston Brugman through ball to flash his angled drive across the face of goal, then Brugman himself skimmed the woodwork, but it was Sassuolo who took the lead.
Alfred Duncan threaded through for Gregoire Defrel, who turned Norbert Gyomber inside out on the edge of the box and surprised Albano Bizzarri with a cheeky finish at the near post.
Sassuolo were starting to feel more confident after that shaky start, but Defrel failed to finish off a counter-attack that seemed destined to end in a goal. At the other end, Biraghi combined with Gianluca Caprari to test Consigli’s reflexes.
The hosts did double their lead with an absolute bomb from Domenico Berardi, who smashed it on the half-volley from the edge of the box.
Jean-Christophe Bahebeck made his debut for Pescara and the PSG loaner had a great chance within six minutes, his angled drive just past the post.
Pescara did get a goal back with Rey Manaj sliding in at the back post to tap in a Mitrita angled drive.
It should’ve been 2-2 moments later, but Manaj went on the counter only for a heavy touch to favour Consigli.
There was a scare for Sassuolo, as star Berardi limped off following a very nasty-looking collision that turned his knee.
It remained open to the end as Pescara poured forward, but Consigli flew to beat away a Zampano effort in stoppages and Alessandro Matri fired over the bar.
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