This was Jose Mourinho’s 1,000th competitive match as a coach and he celebrated wildly at the winning goal, running under the Curva Sud with his players.
Matias Vina started despite just returning from international duty with Uruguay, while the Neroverdi had Domenico Berardi back and played their first match since selling Francesco Caputo to Sampdoria.
Berardi should’ve done better when firing straight at Rui Patricio on a Giacomo Raspadori back-heel flick, then Filip Djuricic hit the side-netting after Roger Ibanez gave it away.
Berardi hit the back of the net from a tight angle, but the goal was disallowed on 27 minutes for Raspadori’s offside position in the build-up.
Roma also finally created a chance, Tammy Abraham getting in front of Vlad Chiriches to fire inches wide on the angled drive from a Rick Karsdorp assist.
It was the hosts who took the lead with a cheeky free kick routine, as Lorenzo Pellegrini pointed to the far post repeatedly, only to then take it short for Bryan Cristante to spring the offside trap and catch the Sassuolo defence napping.
Gian Marco Ferrari should’ve done better after the restart when turning a free header wide from a corner, while substitute Gianluca Scamacca stung Rui Patricio’s gloves.
The visitors finally got their deserved equaliser when Berardi gathered from Scamacca, turned Cristante and put the low cross in for Filip Djuricic to put into the roof of the net from six yards.
This seemed to wake Roma up, as within two minutes they had a huge double chance, Andrea Consigli’s great save on Pellegrini’s angled drive and Tammy Abraham hitting the rebound onto the upright.
Defensive bodies then deflected another Pellegrini effort wide, but Rui Patricio used his legs for a desperate save on Berardi, sent clear by Boga.
Pellegrini went on another great run past three defenders only to skim the far top corner with his finish.
It was end-to-end stuff, first a tackle denying Abraham in the box, then Boga on the counter denied by a combination of Rui Patricio sprinting off his line and Carles Perez clearing practically off the line.
The ball was cleared off the line at the other end moments later, Rogerio almost scoring an own goal as he got in the way of Consigli parrying the Matias Vina shot from a tight angle.
Sassuolo could’ve won it at the 86th minute, Hamed Junior Traore unleashing a scorcher that beat Rui Patricio only to bounce off the upright.
Eldor Shomurodov’s curler also tested Consigli, but the game was decided in stoppages by an El Shaarawy stunner. Shomurodov cushioned down the cross, El Shaarawy let it bounce and then curled it first-time with the inside of the right boot from just inside the area, ricocheting in off the inside of the far post. Consigli had no chance and the celebrations were wild, complete with Jose Mourinho sprinting to join his players under the Curva Sud.
The twists and turns weren’t over, because Scamacca had the ball in the net with an even more spectacular control and volley, but he was narrowly offside.