Sassuolo Claw Back to Draw Against Napoli in Six-Goal Thriller

There were six goals scored at the Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore as Sassuolo and Napoli could not be separated by full-time. An added-time penalty by Francesco Caputo ensured the Neroverdi have a point to show for their efforts from their top-eight meeting with the Partenopei.

Both sides entered the fixture chasing the points for a top-six finish. Sassuolo continued their goal scoring run that now stretches to 14 consecutive Serie A games. With Napoli also getting on the scoreboard, the 3-3 draw makes it 13 games where both teams have scored.

Throughout the 90 minutes, there was plenty of drama. With three penalties, an own goal, and VAR intervention ruling out a goal, the officials’ involvement had a stamp on the outcome of the fixture.

It was Francesco Di Zerbi’s men who put the visitors under pressure. Domenico Berardi forced a save out of Alex Meret with a shot to the bottom right corner. However, the Napoli goalkeeper was alert to the danger.

Napoli replied through Lorenzo Insigne going on a solo run. The Napoli captain’s shot beat Andrea Consigli in the Sassuolo goal. However, the shot into the top right corner was ruled out after VAR review. The suspicion of a possible offside in the buildup came true, the scorers forced to make the board read parity again.

It would be the Neroverdi who would bring the scorers back in action. Domenico Berardi was pushed by Matteo Politano to give the hosts a free-kick in dangerous territory. The Italy international whipped in the free-kick which was turned in by Nikola Maksimovic into his own goal.

Napoli struck back four minutes after going down. Diego Demme passed to Piotr Zieliński, who tried his luck from range. The ball clattered inside the left post, with Consigli having no chance to deny the imminent equalizer.

Francesco Caputo had troubled the Napoli defense through the first half and his pestering positions paid off. Elseid Hysaj brought him down in the area and Valerio Marini pointed to the penalty spot. Berardi would step up and made no mistake from 12-yards out to give his side the lead heading into the break.

The second half saw both sides continue in the same fashion. It was Napoli who created the first dangerous opportunity. Matteo Politano sent in a lofted pass that found Dries Mertens inside the area. His header sailed inches over the bar to bring the opportunity to naught.

Sassuolo would come closer to add to their lead. Berardi’s hammer shot from long range would rattle the crossbar. Luck would further not be on Roberto De Zerbi’s men as Francesco Caputo’s shot from inside the box smashed against the right post.

The Neroverdi were left looking up to the skies as their lead was nullified moments later. Lorenzo Insigne was the architect of Napoli’s return into the game, his cross from the left flank found Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who easily slotted into an empty net.

With the scores tied, both Napoli and Sassuolo went at each other. The last moments of the game provided clutch moments that would leave a mark on the fixture. Lukas Haraslin committed a rough challenge on Giovanni Di Lorenzo inside the box. Valerio Marini found the tackle poor and blew for a foul. He pointed towards the box, at which Lorenzo Insigne stepped up. The Italian sent an unstoppable shot to give Napoli the lead in the 90th minute.

There was still drama left in the game as Sassuolo went on the attack. Lukas Haraslin was in the middle of it again. Konstas Manolas pulled on the jersey of the Slovakian, which was caught by the referee. The Neroverdi would receive their second penalty of the game. With the clock reading 90+4 minutes, Francesco Caputo took the ball. He sent a fierce shot just right of the outstretched Alex Meret, to score his fourth goal in as many games.

The referee would bring the game to an end soon enough, as points are shared between the two top-six hopefuls. Napoli are three points adrift of the top four slots with a game in hand. They will need to get a result against Bologna to keep abreast with the pack. Meanwhile, Sassuolo will travel to Udine to continue their three-match unbeaten run.



March 3, 2021 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 25

SCORERS: 34′ Maksimovic (N, o.g.), 38′ Zielinski (N), 45’+1 Berardi (S, pen.), 72′ Di Lorenzo (N), 90′ Insigne (N, pen.), 95′ Caputo (S, pen.)

SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Rogerio, Ferrari, Marlon, Muldur (74′ Toljan); M. Lopez (85′ Oddei), Locatelli; Djuricic (85′ Raspadori), Defrel (79′ Traoré), Berardi (85′ Obiang); Caputo (Pegolo, Turati, Ayhan, Haraslin, Kyriakopoulos, Magnanelli, Peluso) Coach: De Zerbi
NAPOLI (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Maksimovic (86′ Manolas), Hysaj (73′ Ghoulam); Fabian Ruiz, Demme (73′ Bakayoko); Zielinski (86′ Lobotka), Insigne, Politano; Mertens (67′ Elmas) (Ospina, Contini, Cioffi, Costanzo, D’Agostino, Mario Rui, Zedadka) Coach: Gattuso

REFEREE: Mr. Marini from Rome
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Djuricic, Marlon (S), Demme, Ghoulam (N); Extra Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 4′