Sassuolo staged an extraordinary fightback to claim a point, with Gian Marco Ferrari heading home late on to extend the Neroverdi’s unbeaten run against Napoli to three Serie A (SA) games.
After an emphatic victory over Lazio at the weekend, Napoli entered the game full of confidence and they nearly opened the scoring in the 15th minute, but Piotr Zieliński was unable to keep his effort down. All four of Lorenzo Insigne’s league goals this season have come from the spot and Andrea Consigli extended the Italy international’s barren run from open play, reacting well to grab hold of Insigne’s prodded effort. David Ospina may have been a mere spectator for the majority of the first half, but he had to be alert to deny Giacomo Raspadori and Ferrari before the interval. Neither side was able to break the deadlock before the break, ensuring Sassuolo are still yet to trail at HT this season.
After failing to find the opener in the first period, the ‘Partenopei’ only required six second-half minutes to breach the home side’s defence. The hosts lost the ball on the edge of their area, and were made to pay for their carelessness, with Fabián Ruiz drilling the ball past the despairing Consigli to register his fifth goal of the SA season. With Sassuolo’s resolve broken, the visitors showed why they are Scudetto contenders, doubling their advantage through Dries Mertens, who brilliantly controlled Piotr Zieliński’s cross before slotting the ball home. With under 20 minutes left, Gianluca Scamacca struck to give the ‘Neroverdi’ hope of salvaging a point. Giorgos Kyriakopoulos’ superb delivery found Scamacca, who controlled the ball with his chest before unleashing a ferocious volley into the Napoli net.
The ‘Partenopei’ were on the ropes, and they were unable to keep their rejuvenated opponents at bay, with Ferrari emphatically heading home in the 89th minute. The drama was not yet over, as Grégoire Defrel thought he had completed the turnaround in stoppage time, but his effort was ruled out for a foul in the build-up, ensuring the contest ended all square.