Sassuolo survival boost
Sassuolo came from behind to beat Catania 3-1 and strike a critical blow in the battle to avoid relegation from Serie A.
Last Updated: 16/03/14 4:17pm
Sassuolo came from behind to strike Catania with a critical blow in the battle to avoid relegation from Serie A.
The Neroverde were bottom of the table and without a win in eight attempts heading into Sunday's basement bout at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore but a 3-1 victory over Catania saw them leapfrog the Sicilians and take 19th place.
Gonzalo Bergessio gave the visitors the lead before half-time but Simone Zaza and Simone Missiroli turned the game on its head before Nicola Sansone put the result beyond doubt at the death.
Sassuolo are now just three points behind 17th-placed Livorno - who left the relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Bologna - while Catania prop up the standings with only 20 points.
Sassuolo surged forward from the first whistle, but Francesco Magnanelli's cross to Antonio Floro Flores at the far post ended up in the crowd.
The Sicilians responded brightly and would have snatched the lead inside three minutes had Keko found the back of the net with goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo beaten.
Sansone and Matteo Brighi forced solid saves from Catania keeper Mariano Andujar before, on the half-hour mark, Bergessio made the breakthrough.
The Argentinian striker burst through the offside trap to arrow an angled drive past the stranded Pegolo.
Sassuolo put their heads together over the break and blitzed their opponents when play resumed, Lorenzo Ariaudo just missing with a header before Zaza found the equaliser.
There were 56 minutes on the clock when Ariaudo launched Floro Flores down the wing and the Spaniard crossed for Zaza to steer the ball home.
Sassuolo saw an opportunity to hit Catania while they were down and seized on it, Missiroli giving Andujar no quarter with a powerful header that turned the tables in Reggio Emilia.
The third might have arrived when Floro Flores whipped in a fierce free-kick in the 67th minute, but this time Andujar punched the ball out for a corner.
The scoreline was a dangerous one and, while Sassuolo were dominating, they knew they needed another goal to finish the game off.
It would not come when Zaza sent Sansone through on goal in the 83rd minute, as Andujar made the save, but one minute from time the latter striker gave Catania's keeper no chance with a fierce finish from the edge of the box.