Reggio Emilia was immersed in a cloud of fog on Friday evening as Sassuolo produced another example of why they should be watched every week and be the focus of your bet365, coming from two goals behind to draw 3-3 with a one-minute turnaround.
Though most of what happened in the first half was lost in the cloud that covered the pitch, onlookers can be thankful that most of the drama arrived towards the end when the fog had lifted in time to see five goals scored in 15 minutes, including two from the hosts within a minute that drew them level from being two behind.
One goal was scored in the first half in Reggio Emilia, not that anyone could see it, but the fog lifted in time for five goals in 15 minutes in a mad ending to #SassuoloTorino.@ConJClancy was there for a chaotic #FIFattheGames.
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) October 23, 2020
Conditions at pitch level were deemed suitable for the game to go ahead and the area surrounding the Mapei had been relatively clear on the ground up until kick off, though the fog was constantly descending and thickening throughout the first half, making it impossible for those in attendance to see what was happening more than a stone’s throw away.
Sassuolo’s colours didn’t make them any more visible from above, with their black and green shirts only acting as a camouflage against the pitch.
Andrea Consigli was the busier of the two goalkeepers early on and he was called into action to deny both Sasa Lukic and Mergim Vojvoda.
The host’s only sights at goal came from a Kaan Ayhan freekick that he shot straight into the wall and a Domenico Berardi effort from range that Salvatore Sirigu was able to parry away.
It was no surprise then when Toro got their noses in front through Karol Linetty. A ball from the right, seemingly aimed towards Simone Verdi, missed the forward as he fell over upon its arrival but Linetty was on hand to control the ball, sit Consigli down and finish for the opener.
Seemingly frustrated, Giorgos Kyriakopoulos drove forward on the left to make Sirigu work again, but he shot straight at the Italian upon his arrival on the edge of the area.
A couple of corners brought the Neroverdi close to a leveller after the restart. Sirigu got caught under one that let Gian Marco Ferrari in at the back post but his header back across goal was turned behind. The following corner found its way to the edge of the box from where Kyriakopoulos tried to fire through a crowd of bodies but saw his effort blocked.
Consigli had to be at his agile best at the other end to react to turn an Andrea Belotti header over the crossbar and keep the deficit at one.
Jeremie Boga was introduced from the bench for his first appearance of the season and should have equalised immediately. Another misjudged cross left Sirigu stranded and presented an open goal to the No.7 who, seemingly taken by surprise, headed over.
Then the leveller arrived and it came in some style, prompting subsequent chaos. Fellow substitute Mehdi Bourabia put a low cross towards the near post and Filip Djuricic arrived to finish with a stylish backheeled effort past Sirigu.
Parity didn’t last long though and that was to be the first of five goals in a 15-minute spell.
Belotti scored his latest against his favourite Serie A opponent to restore the Granata’s lead, taking his tally to nine goals when facing the Neroverdi. Going up against Sassuolo’s back two, Belotti’s mere presence caused Vlad Chiriches to fall over before he shifted to his right and finished past Consigli.
That lead was extended within two minutes. Il Gallo again got beyond the backline, teed up Sasa Lukic and he dispatched into the bottom corner for Toro’s third.
Again without waiting long, the fifth goal came as Chiriches sought redemption. In possession some way from goal, the centre-back stepped forward to rifle an arrowed shot into the top corner.
Sassuolo again pulled level through Ciccio Caputo, who finally got his goal by heading home from close range on the end of a Berardi cross.