Sassuolo Demoted to Serie B as Last Relegation Spot Battle Goes to Wire

Frosinone’s first away victory this season and a late penalty drama at the Bluenergy Arena certified Sassuolo’s relegation to Serie B. The Canarini won 1-0 in Monza thanks to a lone strike from Walid Cheddira while Udinese and Empoli each scored once from the spot to share the spoils in the Serie A penultimate round.

In view of today’s results, Frosinone, Udinese, and Empoli – plus Verona – are all still at risk of relegation. However, Verona have one game in hand and can remove themselves from the dogfight if they beat Salernitana tomorrow. Frosinone and Udinese will face each other next week at the Benito Stirpe in an absolute relegation blockbuster while Empoli will host a Roma side that might still be hoping to grab a Champions League spot.

On the other hand, Sassuolo’s fate is doomed. After losing to Cagliari in today’s lunch match, the Neroverdi needed to hope that neither Empoli nor Frosinone would score any point today to keep cultivating some feeble chances of salvation. They are bidding farewell to the Serie A after competing in the top-flight for eleven seasons in a row.

Today’s relegation battles were not for the faint of heart. Frosinone waited for the very last game to finally snatch a win away from their home Benito Stirpe turf. They did so against a Monza side that had nothing left to fight for in this season. An early Cheddira header got the job done for Eusebio Di Francesco’s boys, who are now the masters of their own fate. They will need just one point in the final showdown against Udinese to salvage their permanence in the Italian top-flight for the first time ever.

Meanwhile at the Blueenergy Area, Udinese and Empoli gave life to a thrilling finale. The match had a dramatic ending as both sides buried the spot during stoppage time. Mbaye Niang opened the scoring for the visitors after Lazar Samardzic fouled Nicolò Cambiaghi in the box. The Friulani‘s goalie Maduka Okoye guessed the direction but couldn’t block Niang’s shot.

On 95 minutes, though, Empoli’s Jacopo Fazzini held Maertìn Payero by the shirt, prompting an infinite VAR check that ultimately resulted in a penalty for the home side. Samardzic redeemed himself from his earlier blunder with a stone-cold conversion that gave Fabio Cannavaro some relief ahead of the final Serie A round.

With one game to go, Frosinone now have 35 points, Udinese 34, and Empoli 33. Verona also have 34 points but will face already relegated Salernitana tomorrow.