HT: Sassuolo tear Roma to shreds

Sassuolo have put in a masterclass first half performance, crushing Roma 3-0 and threatening several more goals.

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Both teams made big changes during the January transfer window, as the hosts sold Alfred Duncan and brought back Giangiacomo Magnani, while Alessandro Florenzi was loaned to Valencia, bringing in Gonzalo Villar, Carles Perez and Roger Ibanez. Federico Peluso was suspended for this game, while Amadou Diawara, Nicolò Zaniolo, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Davide Zappacosta were injured.

Sassuolo have just two wins in their last 10 Serie A games and have never beaten Roma in the top flight, managing only five draws from 13 meetings.

The visitors had a couple of shots on goal with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante, but Ciccio Caputo showed ice-cold finishing to give Sassuolo the lead after seven minutes.

He sprung the offside trap on a Filip Djuricic through ball, changed direction to send Gianluca Mancini to ground and swept it past Pau Lopez into the far bottom corner with his right boot.

Suddenly, Sassuolo took control with a series of panicked clearances from corners, constantly haranguing Roma into giving up possession.

That led to the second goal, as the Neroverdi broke away from midfield with a wonderful quick-passing move down the right, Jeremy Toljan eventually rolling across for Caputo to turn in from seven yards for his brace.

It was still all Sassuolo, as Jeremie Boga nutmegged Jordan Veretout to go clear, testing Pau Lopez, and moments later there was a third goal.

Domenico Berardi’s through ball allowed Filip Djuricic to spring the offside trap, as Mancini was several metres behind Chris Smalling, sliding the finish beneath on-rushing Pau Lopez.

It was an extraordinary start, especially considering Sassuolo had never beaten Roma in 13 Serie A meetings and scored only once against them at the Mapei Stadium in six home games. The Giallorossi had not conceded three goals in the first half-hour of a Serie A match since September 2012 against Juventus.

Pellegrini was booked and will be suspended against Bologna.

Sassuolo 3-0 Roma (Half-Time)

Caputo 7, 16 (S), Djuricic 26 (S)

Sassuolo: Consigli; Toljan, Ferrari, Romagna, Kyriakopoulos; Obiang, Locatelli; Berardi, Djuricic, Boga; Caputo

Roma: Pau Lopez; Santon, Mancini, Smalling, Spinazzola; Veretout, Cristante; Under, Pellegrini, Kluivert; Dzeko

Ref: Pairetto

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