Parma sink Sassuolo
Last Updated: 06/10/13 3:49pm
Parma's Walter Gargano and Sassuolo's Simone Zaza compete for a header
Parma heaped further misery on rock-bottom Sassuolo on Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 Serie A victory in a match which saw both sides reduced to 10 men.
Eusebio Di Francesco's promoted side have picked up just two points so far this term, but things looked promising at the interval when substitute Domenico Berardi stroked home a penalty in first-half stoppage time - following the dismissal of Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante - to get the visitors back on level terms after Raffaele Palladino's 32nd-minute opener.
However, the 10-man hosts showed little mercy on their struggling opponents and bagged two goals in seven minutes through substitute Aleandro Rosi and Antonio Cassano to seal the three points before Francesco Magnanelli's late red card rubbed salt into Sassuolo's wounds.
Sassuolo had a couple of chances to go ahead, Mirante pulling off a fine save to prevent Jasmin Kurtic's left-wing cross from finding the top corner in the third minute and then keeping out Simone Missiroli's long-range attempt on the half-hour mark.
But the visitors, who headed into the game having conceded a league-high 18 goals, showed their defensive frailties again in going behind on 32 minutes.
Cassano provided the perfect cross from the right to Palladino - who had earlier had a goal chalked off due to a dubious offside call - and he was left in space at the near post to head home.
Parma's lead was wiped out deep into first-half stoppage time, though, and it was all of their own doing.
Massimo Gobbi's sloppy back-pass was intercepted by Berardi, who was felled by Mirante as he ran into the hosts' box.
The referee initially signalled only a corner but, after consulting his assistant, pointed to the spot and showed Mirante a straight red card.
Berardi coolly converted from 12 yards - beating substitute goalkeeper Pavol Bajza, who had replaced Palladino.
Sassuolo, perhaps sensing the prospect of a first top-flight win, mustered a few chances at the start of the second period, Kurtic sending a couple of efforts narrowly over the bar before Simone Zaza set up substitute Antonio Floro Flores for a right-footed shot which hit the post.
And on 70 minutes the visitors found themselves behind. Cassano was again the provider, producing the cross for Rosi to nod in at the far post.
Six minutes later the game was out of sight. Cassano latched onto Walter Gargano's free-kick, beat the offside trap and slotted into the bottom-left corner.
Sassuolo, to their credit, never gave up, but must have known it was not to be their day when Magnanelli handled the ball and was sent off for a second bookable offence two minutes from time.
Italy Serie A