Sassuolo vs Spezia 4-1: Berardi Nets Brace as Neroverdi Smash Aquilotti

Sassuolo defeated Spezia 4-1 in the first match of Serie A Round 30 this Friday as Domenico Berardi scored twice, making 100 goals out of 300 appearances for the Neroverdi. In the first half, Daniele Verde replied to a penalty from Berardi, but in the second period Sassuolo overwhelmed Spezia and took the three points.

Starting XIs: Scamacca Sits, Kovalenko Starts

For Sassuolo, coach Alessio Dionisi bet on Kaan Ayhan at center back and gave a chance to Matheus Henrique in midfield, alongside Maxime Lopez and Davide Frattesi. Upfront, Gregoire Defrel and Hamed Traoré replaced Giacomo Raspadori, who served a one-match ban, and Gianluca Scamacca, who initially sat due to load management.

For Spezia, Thiago Motta almost confirmed the same eleven that beat Cagliari last week, with the exception of Ukrainian playmaker Viktor Kovalenko making his return to the starting lineup after six games and taking Kevin Agudelo’s spot.

Berardi Opens the Scoring, Verde Equalizes

In the first half, Sassuolo initially suffered Spezia’s high pressing and high intensity, but picked it up pretty soon: Kovalenko naively fouled Frattesi in his own area, leading to Berardi opening the scoring from the penalty spot.

The Spezia defense struggled to contain the offensive raids from Sassuolo’s number 16, who had the opportunity to score twice and was only denied by the Aquilotti goalie Ivan Provedel’s heroics. However, the Spezzini tied the match on 36 minutes thanks to a true masterpiece: Simone Bastoni dribbled past the defender on the left side, crossed the ball at the far post and found Daniele Verde, who beat Sassuolo’s goalie Andrea Consigli with a beautiful left-footed curling shot. 

Spezia Succumbs as Berardi Scores His 100th Serie A Goal

After drawing level, Spezia pretty much disappeared from the match and succumbed to Sassuolo’s offense. Right after the restart, Berardi found again the back of the net to put Sassuolo ahead again.

On the one hour mark, Spezia reclaimed a penalty after Kovalenko was allegedly fouled by Frattesi, but the referee disallowed it after a consultation with the VAR. With 12 minutes left on the clock, Sassuolo doubled their lead from a corner kick situation, this time with Turkish center back Ayhan collecting the ball in the area and beating Provedel with a right footed shot.

Just three minutes later, Scamacca closed the match after being subbed in just a few moments prior, scoring from a beautiful free kick. 

What’s Next for Sassuolo and Spezia

Sassuolo will travel to Rome to face Lazio next week, with the Biancocelesti fully involved in the race for a Europa or Conference League spot.

Spezia will host Venezia at home, in what will be a crucial match for the relegation zone battle, with the Spezzini being seven points clear above the third-to-last place occupied by the Lagunari, who still have a game in hand against Salernitana.  



March 18, 2022 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 30

SCORERS: 17′ Berardi (Sa, pen.), 35′ Verde (Sp), 48′ Berardi (Sa), 78′ Ayhan (Sa), 81′ Scamacca (Sa)

SASSUOLO (4-3-3): Consigli; Muldur, Ayhan, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Frattesi (84′ Magnanelli), Maxime Lopez, Henrique (84′ Harroui); Berardi (90′ Ceide), Defrel (68′ Scamacca), Traoré (90′ Oddei) (Vitale, Pegolo, Rogerio, Ciervo, Peluso, Chiriches, Tressoldi) Coach: Dionisi
SPEZIA (3-4-2-1): Provedel; Amian, Erlić, Nikolaou, Reca; Maggiore, Kiwior, Bastoni; Verde (74′ Agudelo), Gyasi (74′ Manaj), Kovalenko. (Zoet, Zovko, Hristov, Podgoreanu, Ferrer, Antiste, Sher, Ngoiuamba, Bertola) Coach: Thiago Motta
REFEREE: Mr. Volpi from Arezzo
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Henrique, Berardi (Sas); Kovalenko, Maggiore, Erlic (Spe); Added Time: 1st Half 0′, 2nd Half 3′