Sassuolo hit back to hold Lazio
Last Updated: 29/09/13 6:47pm
Antonio Candreva: Netted for Lazio
Sassuolo recovered from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw with Lazio and pick up a first home point of the Serie A season.
The early days of top-flight competition had not been kind to the Serie B champions and four opening games saw 15 goals sail into the Sassuolo net for only one scored.
But a hard-earned midweek draw at Napoli steeled their resolve and, despite a brief wobble that allowed Andre Dias and Antonio Candreva in for a quickfire double, the northerners promptly hit back through Ezequiel Schelotto and Antonio Floro Flores to rescue a point.
This time last week at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore Sassuolo were helpless to resist as Inter Milan plundered seven goals without reply, but something changed in Naples.
A 1-1 draw at the San Paolo, made possible by a wonderful finish from Simone Zaza, had given Eusebio Di Francesco's men an injection of self-belief and on Sunday they menaced Lazio in the first half.
Jasmin Kurtic beat his man to test Federico Marchetti from distance before Zaza only narrowly failed to clear the wall with a venomous free-kick.
Lazio probed the home defence with both a header from Dias and Candreva's shot on the turn, but goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo was largely untroubled.
Sassuolo came within inches of snatching the lead in the 26th minute, Zaza heading just over the bar from a pinpoint Simone Missiroli cross.
The Biancocelesti enjoyed a purple patch before the interval but Michael Ciani was guilty of spurning a fine chance to snatch the half-time lead.
After Pegolo had watched a Sergio Floccari drive sail wide, Ciani arrived unmarked in the box to head wide of an open goal.
The restart saw a frantic exchange of goals as Lazio built a two-goal lead only for Sassuolo to fight back immediately.
Five minutes after the break Dias judged the flight of Candreva's corner to beat his man and head home, and a minute later Candreva arrowed a daisy-cutter into Pegolo's bottom corner.
The Neroverde quickly made it 2-1, though, Schelotto getting his head to a Kurtic corner and sticking the ball home from the middle of the box.
Sassuolo believed in the comeback and Luis Cavanda had to deny them a quick equaliser by cutting out Schelotto's cross to the lurking Zaza.
It would arrive, however, in the 76th minute when Floro Flores won a free-kick in front of the D before steering it under Marchetti's crossbar.
The rest of the game belonged to Sassuolo and Floro Flores was unlucky not to steer home a winner from Karim Laribi's pass.
It fell to Schelotto to miss the last kick of the game, the former Inter Milan man screwing a left-footed drive over the bar four minutes into stoppage time.
Italian Serie A