Roma suffer shock loss to Sassuolo as Mourinho's ban begins

Sassuolo enjoyed a brilliant win over Roma (NurPhoto)

SERIE A Roma suffer shock loss to Sassuolo as Mourinho's ban begins

Ayoola Kelechi 20:07 - 12.03.2023
Mourinho's absence from the touchline was felt as Roma suffered defeat against Sassuolo

AS Roma suffered a shock loss at home to 12th-placed Sassuolo in Serie A as the Giallorossi played the first of two games without the suspended Jose Mourinho. 

Roma fought and tried to claw their way back from a two-goal deficit but ultimately fell short in their 4-3 loss to Sassuolo despite a late surge. 

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The loss comes as a blow to Roma's challenge for a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, the Giallorossi failed to take advantage of teams above them dropping points by losing at home to Sassuoolo. 

How it happened

Roma were handicapped by the absence of their manager Jose Mourinho from the touchline after his two-match ban was ratified during the week, but they also took some solace in the fact that teams also in the hunt for Champions League qualification had dropped points beforehand. 

The foreknowledge of rivals dropping points seemed to backfire for Roma, as instead of galvanising them, it caused them to relax, and Sassuolo took advantage of that in the opening minutes. 

Sassuolo were 2-0 ahead inside the first 20 minutes as Armand Laurienté scored a quick-fire double to hand I Neroverdi an early advantage. 

Roma were rocked, but not out of it yet, as they pulled a goal back thanks to Polish wing-back Nicola Zalewski after 26 minutes. 

Their fightback took a major blow towards the end of the first half after VAR pointed out that Roma's defender Marash Kumbulla had lashed out at Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi in the penalty. 

Roma were reduced to ten men with Kumbulla sent off for violent conduct, and Sassuolo were awarded a penalty that Berardi duly converted to put them 3-1 up going into halftime.

Roma started the second half much better than the first, and it was they who scored an early goal as Paulo Dybala found the net just five minutes after the restart. 

However, the toll of playing with 10 men against a Sassuolo side with pacy forwards soon took its toll on Roma and they conceded again when Andrea Pinamonti scored Sassuolo’s fourth. 

The Giallorossi still did not give up however and kept knocking away at Sassuolo’s goal, eventually finding another goal through Giorgino Wijnaldum who made it 4-3 in extra time. 

The attempted fightback proved to be too late as Roma ran out of time, and Sassuolo ran our 4-3 winners. 

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