Sassuolo Goalless Draw to Udinese Is a Wasted Chance for Neroverdi

Sassuolo had a great chance to consolidate their second place in the Serie A table – and perhaps even grab the first, were Milan to lose to Verona on Sunday – but wasted it as they engaged in a boring goalless home stalemate with Udinese.

There was almost nothing worth mentioning at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia tonight as Udinese collected their fourth clean sheet in a row against the Neroverdi to grab at least one point and slightly improve their precarious position in the table.

It looked like one of those 1990s boredoms, back when Serie A was surely the most competitive football league in the world but used to feature such tactical stalemates quite often.

Sassuolo came into the game with much confidence as they could count again on Francesco Caputo and Domenico Berardi, as well as on Jeremie Boga who enjoyed his first cap as a starter this season.

Udinese’s Luca Gotti finally recovered Bram Nuytinck in his defensive pack – the Dutchman was injured since July. The coach chose a two-man attacking line featuring Stefano Okaka and Ignacio Pussetto while Gerard Deulofeu was left on the bench.

Differently from the expectations, the two sides engaged in a tactical standoff that resulted in no clear scoring chances for the whole first period. Sassuolo progressively tried to increase the pressure counting on Manuel Locatelli’s crosses but the Milan youth academy product couldn’t find the right spark.

A shot from out of the box from center back Gian Marco Ferrari ended up being the Neroverdi‘s most dangerous chance in the first half as Domenico Berardi’s previous long-range effort was easily controlled by Udinese’s Juan Musso.

Udinese only recorded a shooting attempt on the part of Rodrigo De Paul that was blocked by Sassuolo’s defense. It was a truly forgettable first half.

Roberto De Zerbi subsituted Ahmad Traoré with Mert Muldur after the break but the Turk’s addition didn’t seem to bring anything new to the table as the match went on with very few emotions to record.

In the 62nd minute, a new change for Sassuolo: Grègoire Defrel took Jeremie Boga’s place. Luca Gotti’s immediate answer for Udinese was Gerard Deloufeu for Ignacio Pussetto. De Zerbi then tried with Giacomo Raspadori in place of Francesco Caputo but we were in 77th minute and we still had to witness to any real scoring chance.

It was an ugly game where a few shy attempts from Sassuolo to make anything out of it were easily defused by an Udinese defense where Rodrigo Becao and Bram Nuytinck led with authority. The Bianconeri‘s attack, on the other hand, is the worst in Serie A with only six goals scored and tonight Gotti’s side all but confirmed why they hold such record.



November 1, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 7

SASSUOLO (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Ayhan, Marlon, G. Ferrari, Rogerio; Maximez Lopez (91′ Obiang), Locatelli; Berardi, Traorè (46′ Muldur), Boga (64′ Defrel); Caputo (77′ Raspadori) (Turati, Vitale, Magnanelli, Peluso, Bourabia, Kyriakopoulos, Schiappacasse) Coach: De Zerbi
UDINESE (3-5-2): Musso; Rodrigo Becão, Nuytinck, Samir; Stryger Larsen, De Paul, Arslan, Pereyra, Zeegelaar; Pussetto (65′ Deulofeu), Okaka (85′ Lasagna) (Scuffet, Gasparini, Ter Avest, Ouwejan, Molina, De Maio, Bonifazi, Makengo, Nestorovski, Deulofeu, Forestieri, Lasagna) Coach: Gotti

REFEREE: Mr. Abbinante from Pisa
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Pussetto, Nuytinck (U), Traorè, Ferrari (S); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 3′