Sassuolo narrowly missed out on a place in next season’s newly formed UEFA Conference League even though they secured a 2-0 Serie A win over Lazio at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday night, after playing half an hour with ten men.
Giorgios Kyriakopoulos was the man in the spotlight after scoring a screamer in the first half, before being dismissed for a second yellow card on the 60th minute. Domenico Berardi scored a penalty in the second half to see the Neroverdi finish in eighth place in Serie A and agonisingly missed out on Europe thanks to Roma’s late equaliser away to Spezia.
Kyriakopoulos chose the perfect time to score his first goal in Italy, the left-back smashed home from 25 yards after a smartly worked free-kick that was teed up by Domenico Berardi, to give Sassuolo the lead on 11 minutes.
The game moved at a relatively fast pace with both sides thinking they could have been awarded penalties – Sassuolo for a potential handball by Stefan Radu, Lazio for a foul on Manuel Lazzari – but referee Alessandro Prontera stood firm on both occasions.
Lazio had a huge chance to equalise with 15 minutes of the second half played, but Vedat Muriqi skied over from close range after doing really well to swivel and create a chance from almost nothing.
Then, in the 60th minute, goalscorer Kyriakopoulos was sent off for a second bookable offence, going from hero to zero in the blink of an eye.
The hosts were awarded a penalty for a clumsy foul by Marco Parolo on Francesco Caputo, and Berardi stepped up to bag his 17th of the season with ease.
Caputo was close to adding a third goal, connecting from close range after great work from Berardi, only to see his effort stopped brilliantly by Thomas Strakosha in the Lazio goal. The same two faced up again and the outcome was once again the same, the goalkeeper stopping from point-blank range.
Parolo hooked one off the line before the game ended with a touch of sweet and sour for De Zerbi’s men who had sealed a great win with a man disadvantage, however, were to finish outside of the top seven thanks to Roma’s point away at Spezia.