Sassuolo vs Inter 1-2 – Dzeko’s Second Half Overwhelms Sassuolo

The Serie A reigning champions returned to form against Sassuolo on Saturday, winning 1-2 after a brilliant second half performance from Edin Dzeko.

Sassuolo were unable to capitalize on an electric first half performance, conceding twice in the final 30 minutes to drop all three points. Jeremie Boga and Domenico Berardi were in fine form early, but Inter’s talent advantage eventually overwhelmed Alessio Dionisi’s side.

Simone Inzaghi deployed his typical 3-5-2, with Lautaro Martinez and Joaquin Correa at striker. Federico Dimarco began the match on the bench, so Denzel Dumfries and Ivan Perisic started at wing-back. Sassuolo lined up in a 4-3-3, with Berardi and Boga starting on the wings. Notably, Dionisi left young strikers Gianluca Scamacca and Giacomo Raspadori out of the squad, giving Gregoire Defrel his first start of the season.

Sassuolo started the match poorly, conceding possession in the defensive third twice in the first two minutes. On the first occasion, Davide Frattesi’s giveaway sparked an Inter breakaway, forcing Andrea Consigli to make a diving stop on Hakan Calhanoglu.

Later, Inter earned another fantastic chance, when Martinez set up Nicolò Barella in the box. The midfielder had an open look on goal, but his shot flew past the right post.

The first pivotal moment of the match came when Boga won a penalty for Sassuolo in the 22nd minute. He beat Milan Skriniar with quality footwork inside the box, forcing the Croatian into a clumsy tackle. Berardi stepped to the spot and calmly beat Samir Handanovic, scoring his 108th goal for the club.

Towards the end of the first half, Inter nearly equalized on a free kick from Calhanoglu. The Turk sent a beautiful ball to Dumfries at the back post, but Defrel made a superb clearance off the line.

The first half ended in controversy, when Handanovic took down Defrel outside of the box. A giveaway by Stefan de Vrij had released the striker, and, with no other defenders in the area, he chipped the ball past the Inter goaltender. Replay clearly showed that Handanovic made contact with Defrel’s head, but the referee bizarrely allowed play to continue, and VAR made no effort to intervene. The atrocious no-call left Sassuolo infuriated and desperate for an explanation as the half ended.

When play resumed, Sassuolo’s form continued to improve. Boga and Rogerio were dynamic on the left wing, creating several scoring chances and repeatedly exposing Skriniar and Dumfries.

Sensing that his side was losing control of the match, Inzaghi made four changes with over 30 minutes left. Trying to improve Inter’s offensive fortunes, he brought on Edin Dzeko, Arturo Vidal, Matteo Darmian and Dimarco.

The substitutes immediately changed the course of the game. After a long period of Sassuolo dominance, Perisic whipped in a long-range cross, finding Dzeko. The Bosnian headed the ball down into the net, bringing the match level seconds after coming on.

Just when it seemed that Sassuolo had regained composure, Consigli committed a foul on Dzeko inside the box. The striker had broken out after a long ball from the midfield, and Martinez subsequently scored the penalty attempt, bringing the visitors in front.

Shooting from long range, Berardi almost equalized as time wound down, but Handanovic made a quality save and preserved the hosts’ victory.  



October 2, 2021 – Serie A 2021-22 Round 7

SCORERS: 22′ Berardi (S, pen.); 58′ Dzeko (I), 78′ Lautaro Martinez (I, pen.)

SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Frattesi (86′ Scamacca), M. Lopez; Berardi, Djuricic (75′ Traore), Boga; Defrel (64′ Raspadori) (Pegolo, Ayhan, Goldaniga, Kyriakopuolos, Peluso, Toljan, Harroui, Magnanelli, Henrique) Coach: Dionisi
INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni (57′ Dimarco); Dumfries (57′ Darmian), Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu (57′ Vidal), Perisic; Correa (57′ Dzeko), Martinez (89′ D’Ambrosio (Cordaz, Radu, Kolarov, Ranocchia, Gagliardini, Vecino, Sanchez) Coach: S. Inzaghi

REFEREE: Mr. Pairetto from Nichelino
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Muldur, Lopez, Consigli, Raspadori (S), S. Inzaghi, Perisic, Barella (I); Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 4′