Efficient Sassuolo Thrash Enterprising Crotone in Round 3

Sassuolo claimed an impressive 4-1 win over Crotone in Serie A Round 3. The Città del Tricolore-based entity were the more efficient side and managed to keep their rivals at bay to secure the points on offer. Coach Roberto De Zerbi must have been pleased with their efforts despite accruing dangerous chances and playing on the back foot.

The Black-and-Greens dominated possession in the early exchanges, but it was their rivals who made the more concrete chances. The first meaningful chance came from Benfica loanee Pedro Pereira, whose cross made it to Arkadiusz Reca. The resulting ball to Simy was late, and it was intercepted by the hosts.

While the Sassuolo failed to make anything with the ball, Crotone continued to pile pressure. Reca would earn the first corner of the game after his cross was cleared past the end line. The Neroverdi did not help their cause with easy turnovers and defensive errors. Vlad Chiriches’ one could have cost his side a goal, but the Pitagorici’s weak shot was easily gathered by goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.

Minutes later, another weak attempt at goal from a direct free-kick by Crotone gave the Sassuolo their first sniff at goal. They did not make the same mistake as their rivals and made the most of the counter-attack. Reca was at fault as he allowed Domenico Berardi to move forward. The Italy international exchanged passes with Grégoire Defrel before slotting into the bottom right corner. Sassuolo got on the scoreboard with their first chance of the afternoon.

Despite taking the lead, Roberto De Zerbi’s men were on the back foot. Crotone continued to press forward to level the proceedings. Luca Cigarini tried his luck, but the Black-and-Greens’ keeper was up to the challenge. Consigli would deny the Calabrians again as he efficiently dealt with Milos Vulic’s shot.

Francesco Caputo could have doubled the home side’s lead, but his enterprising run did not have the desired end product. His shot was easily blocked out of play for a corner. Berardi tried to swing the ball into the box but went it out of play for a goal kick.

In the added minutes of the first half, Crotone upped the tempo to show their manager Giovanni Stroppa something for their efforts. Cigarini would first shoot wide of the left post. Simy then split the hosts’ defense, but the keeper saved Junior Messias’ effort.

Stroppa’s halftime speech must have been simple. He would have asked his charges to convert their chances. Sassuolo players aided his best-laid plans as Mehdi Bourabia brought down Cigarini. Simy easily converted with a very slow penalty approach. The Nigerian shot easily made its way to the bottom left corner as Consigli went in the other direction.

The match had a new lease of life, and it was all coming from the Sharks. Crotone played with urgency and pressed with intent. Meanwhile, Sassuolo welcomed the pressure to hit on the break. The Neroverdi’s plot worked as their counter attack earned a penalty through VAR. Caputo sent an unstoppable shot to retake the lead.

Third seasonal goal for Sassuolo’s Francesco Caputo who is now the Serie A top-scorer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Lukaku, Galabinov, and Gomez

It was one-way traffic as De Zerbi’s men piled on the pressure. Berardi could have added his second, but his shot was blocked. Simy, on the other end, could have equalized, but his effort from the edge of the box was expertly saved by Consigli.

In the end, a late blitz from the hosts ensured a comfortable win for them. Berardi and Caputo combined together for Sassuolo’s third of the night. Berardi was the provider as he released his forward inside the box, who calmly lifted the ball over Alex Cordaz for their third.

Crotone’s woes were multiplied in the third minute of added time. Berardi crossed into the box to Manuel Locatelli, who could not control it. However, he was the first to latch on to the rebound, and sent a shot on goal to make it 4-1 for the Neroverdi.

The three points took Sassuolo to the top of Serie A rankings, while Crotone are rooted to the bottom of the table. The Sharks were left questioning the result in a match that had them create better chances but nothing to show for. They need to improve fast as their next outing will see them welcome champions Juventus at the Stadio Ezio Scida after the international break.



October 3, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 3

SCORERS: 18’ Berardi (S), 48’ Simy (C, pen.), 57’ Caputo (S, pen.), 84’ Caputo (S), 93’ Locatelli (S)

SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur (52′ Kyriakopoulos), Chiriches (78’ Ayhan), Ferrari, Toljan; Bourabia (52’ Obiang), Locatelli; Berardi, Defrel (88’ Peluso), Djuricic (88′ Traorè); Caputo (Pegolo, Turati, Haraslin, Ghion, Ricci, Raspadori) Coach: De Serbi
CROTONE (3-5-2): Cordaz; Magallan, Marrone, Golemic; Pereira (83’ Rispoli), Molina, Cigarini (76’ Gomelt), Vulic (76’ Dragus), Reca; Messias, Simy (Festa, D’Alterio, Mazzotta, Spolli, Crociata, Zanellato, Petriccione, Borello, Mustacchio) Coach: Stroppa

REFEREE: Mr. Pezzuto from Lecce
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Chiriches, Kyriakopoulos (S), Simy, Magallan, Cigarini, Stroppa (C)