Great escape for Sassuolo
Sassuolo completed a great escape to secure a second season in Serie A by rallying to beat Genoa 4-2.
Last Updated: 11/05/14 5:36pm
Sassuolo completed a great escape to secure a second season in Serie A by rallying to beat Genoa 4-2 at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore.
The top flight's whipping boys for the first half of the 2013-14 campaign and long-time residents of the bottom three, Sassuolo had done enough in recent weeks to crawl out of the soup.
They were twice pegged back from a winning position on Sunday - Emanuele Calaio and Alberto Gilardino responding to goals from Antonio Floro Flores and Davide Biondini - before finding a reserve of energy to get over the line.
Late strikes from substitute Nicola Sansone and Floro Flores confirmed the Serie B champions' place in the top flight for another year.
After Tuesday's madcap 4-3 victory at Fiorentina fired Sassuolo out of the relegation zone, survival was within touching distance and the Neroverde went all out for the win.
Domenico Berardi exploded down the left wing to test Mattia Perin from distance before setting up Simone Zaza, whose low drive sent Genoa's goalkeeper sprawling.
In the 16th minute Sassuolo made the breakthrough.
Berardi provided the pinpoint pass that allowed Floro Flores to leave Luca Antonini standing and clip the ball beyond Perin.
Still they pushed on and, after Zaza forced a nervous parry from Perin, Berardi missed from close range with the goalkeeper beaten.
They scored for a second time in the 33rd minute, Luca Antei turning the ball home, but the offside flag went up.
Genoa would reach the break on level terms after converting a penalty awarded in the 39th minute.
There was minimal contact between Federico Magnanelli and Sime Vrsaljko in the Sassuolo box but Gilardino did not hesitate when taking the spot-kick.
His effort was repelled by Gianluca Pegolo but headed home on the rebound by the lurking Calaio.
Sassuolo put their heads together at the interval and returned to the pitch looking totally focused despite the setback.
If Perin had let his guard down over the break he might not have stopped both a devious attempt from Magnanelli and the rapid follow-up from Matteo Brighi.
Zaza missed the mark by inches when Cabral let his mind wander in midfield, but Sassuolo continued to turn the screw and got their reward.
From a corner in the 66th minute, Biondini arrived in the box to scramble the ball over the line and put the hosts back on the road to staying up.
Despite being comfortable in mid-table Genoa were not in the mood to do Sassuolo any favours and levelled once again in the 76th minute.
Paolo Cannavaro and Pegolo both rushed forward to close down Cabral but, after the Swiss managed to get a shot away, Gilardino touched the rebound over the line for Genoa's second.
But Sassuolo refused to give up the fight and their perseverance yielded an historic match-winning double salvo.
First, substitute Sansone shrugged off Vrsaljko to clip the ball over Perin's shoulder for 3-2 and, one minute before the final whistle, Floro Flores completed his brace by converting Berardi's spilled shot.