Late Djuricic Penalty Earns 1-1 Draw for Sassuolo in Parma

Roberto D’Aversa’s Parma came close to upsetting Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore as they had the lead until the dying minutes of the game. But a late Filip Djuricic penalty cancelled out Juraj Kucka’s first-half header to level the affairs.

Sassuolo needed a win, but the draw against the relegation-threatened Parma was enough to keep their quest for European qualifying spots alive. The Neroverdi were unable to successfully put their defeats to Juventus and Spal in the rear view mirror. They have been knocked out of the Coppa Italia and only have eight points to show from their last six Serie A outings.

Parma will also take the point from a fixture where they were the clear underdogs, given their profligacy to score. They needed a win to get out of the relegation slots and end their six-match losing streak.

The Crociati had not scored a goal in their last three games and only once in their last six outings. Their last goal came in the losing effort to Crotone – which made it six losses in a row for them, equaling their worst start to the season in 2006.

Both sides came into the match with defeats to overcome and had plenty to play for. It was Sassuolo who started the game brightly, carving out their rivals with two exciting opportunities. However, they were unable to get past Luigi Sepe. Francesco Caputo did manage to hit the back of the net, but his effort was ruled offside.

Parma soaked up the pressure and stood firm, creating their own set of opportunities. The scores remained level until the final eight minutes of the first half, where Parma ended their barren form in front of goal. Juraj Kucka guiding Giuseppe Pezzella’s cross past Andrea Consigli to make it 0-1.

Sassuolo tried to equalize but were unable to make anything of their chances and allowed their rivals to threaten Andrea Consigli on a regular basis. Giorgos Kyriakopoulos, Gregoire Defrel, Francesco Caputo, and Hamed Traore all came close but to no effect.

On the other end of the pitch, Parma rallied and should have added to their tally. Andreas Cornelius was wasteful from the corner while Juraj Kucka should have doubled his tally but sent his effort flying over. Jasmin Kurtic and Alberto Grassi also came close but to no avail.

As the minutes rolled over, Parma seemed to be running away with the three points. They lost their concentration deep in added time as Maxime Busi tripped Gian Marco Ferrari in the box. Referee Ivano Pezzuto had no doubt, and straightaway pointed towards the spot.

Filip Djuricic stepped up and sent the ball towards the bottom right corner. Luigi Sepe got a hand to it but could not stop the ball from hitting the back of the net.

The draw keeps Sassuolo in the hunt for European slots and are four points behind 3rd placed Napoli. Meanwhile, Parma closed the gap on Genoa, who are a point ahead and outside relegation slots. Both sides will take on Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio in their next competitive outings – Parma in the Coppa Italia on Thursday and Sassuolo in Serie A next weekend.



January 17, 2021 – Serie A 2020-21 Round 18

SCORERS: 37′ Kucka (P), 94′ Djuricic (S, pen.)

SASSUOLO (3-4-2-1): Consigli; Ferrari, Toljan (46′ Muldur), Kyriakopoulos (71′ Rogerio); Ayhan, Chiriches, Magnanelli (58′ Djuricic), Traorè (85′ Raspadori); M. Lopez, Defrel; Caputo (71′ Haraslin) (Pegolo, Turati, Marlon, Peluso, Karamoko, Oddei, Mercati) Coach: De Zerbi
PARMA (4-3-3): Sepe; Busi, Iacopini, Dierckx, Pezzella (74′ Ricci); Grassi (86′ Sohm), Brugman (86′ Cyprien), Kucka; Kurtic, Cornelius, Gervinho (Colombi, Dezi, Artistico, Mihaila, Brunetta, Traorè, Camara, Radu, Sprocati) Coach: D’Aversa

REFEREE: Mr. Pezzuto from Lecce
NOTES: Yellow Cards: ; Chiriches, M. Lopez, Rogerio (S), Brugman, Busi (P)