A Domenico Berardi header was decisive to give Sassuolo victory, along with a desperate goal-line clearance to deny Salernitana.
Both teams were in dire need of a boost, as the Neroverdi had lost three on the bounce, while the Granata had just one point from five games. Jeremy Toljan joined Filippo Romagna and Pedro Obiang on the treatment table for the hosts, while Franck Ribery didn’t make the trip due to a muscular issue.
Andrea Consigli was tested by Norbert Gyomber from a tight angle, then Maxime Lopez’s curler forced a top-drawer fingertip save from Vid Belec.
The referee had awarded a penalty to Sassuolo on the stroke of half-time, but changed his mind after viewing it again on VAR, as Riccardo Gagliolo had managed to get his toe to the ball before Riccardo Frattesi in a very risky but effective tackle.
The deadlock was finally broken on 54 minutes, when Jeremie Boga burst down the left and floated a great ball onto the head of Domenico Berardi at the back post.
Belec beat away a Giacomo Raspadori angled drive, then made a decisive one-handed interception to stop Raspadori tapping in the Boga pull-back from six yards.
Federico Bonazzoli thought he’d equalised with a spectacular back-heel flick past the on-rushing goalkeeper, having intercepted a poor back-pass, but Rogerio scrambled back to clear off the line.
Gianluca Scamacca forced a tricky save, while Nwankwo Simy’s header looped over the bar.
Sassuolo 1-0 Salernitana
Berardi 54 (Sas)