Sassuolo were unable to overcome ten-man Bologna on Saturday, as the Rossoblu survived a second-half onslaught to take a well-earned point from the Mapei Stadium.
Roberto Soriano’s early opener was cancelled out by Ciccio Caputo in the second half, and Bologna did well to hold on for a point despite playing the majority of the game with just ten men after Aaron Hickey’s first-half dismissal.
Caputo’s goal was his 10th this season and 47th in the last three seasons, during which time only three players have outscored him in Cristiano Ronaldo (68), Ciro Immobile (65), and Duvan Zapata (49).
Some careless possession around their own area proved costly for Sassuolo early on as Soriano put Bologna deservedly ahead after a bright start.
Andrea Consigli played the ball out to Francesco Magnanelli outside the area and a poor pass back towards Marlon allowed the sharp Musa Barrow to pounce and tee up his teammate, who turned home the opener with just a quarter of an hour played.
The Rossoblu’s task was made all the more difficult as Scottish full-back Hickey was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Mert Muldur, but only after Federico La Penna consulted his pitchside monitor. They did have fortune on their side shortly after though when Filip Djuricic went down in the area under a Danilo tackle, but despite Sassuolo’s claims, no penalty was given.
Manuel Locatelli almost levelled on the stroke of half time, but Lukasz Skorupski somehow got down fast to deny the Italian’s effort on the line.
Sassuolo were keen to assert their dominance after the restart though, and Bologna sat back looking to keep their hosts out. But Skorupski could do little to prevent Ciccio Caputo from levelling when a Djuricic shot deflected into the No.9’s path, and he was at his ruthless best to fire past the Pole.
Adama Soumaoro was at his impenetrable best shortly after, cutting out a pass from Caputo to Junior Traore between the posts, denying a simple tap-in in front of an open goal.
Skorupski then took his turn to deny Marlon as the Neroverdi looked to turn the screw. The Bologna ‘keeper denied the defender again late on, as well as keeping Domenico Berardi out.