Juventus host Sassuolo in Serie A on Saturday evening and it looks as though both teams will struggle to get the three points they want, but the outcome of the match will largely depend on the performance of the team in front of goal.
Napolese coach Maurizio Sarri’s side had a few chances to pull away at the end of a first half that was dominated by goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paulo Dybala.
However, the hosts struck first when Daniele Pianaro volleyed in a penalty after being fouled by Andrea Paletta.
It was only the first of several penalties Juventus had to deal with throughout the game, with Andrea Pirlo getting his own red card when he picked up a red card for a late challenge on Paletta late in the game.
With the score tied at 1-to-1, Juventus began the second half with a goal from Alessandro Matri who had been subbed out by Mario Mandzukic.
The Italian striker, who scored five goals in the first half of the campaign, was brought back into the starting line-up and was immediately brought down by Matri, who went on to score his second goal of the game after a corner from a corner kick.
Matri made no mistake from the spot and scored again moments later to give Sassuoli a 2-1 lead.
It wasn’t long before Sassuolians forward Andrea Paletto made a name for himself again after a great first half, with the Italian attacking midfielder sending a shot just wide of the far post.
In the end, Sassuola would go on to win the game 2-2 thanks to goals from Daniel De Rossi and Alessandro Pirla.
The visitors made it 3-2 at the break when Simone Zadina headed in a corner that would have given Napoli a crucial advantage in the match.
Sassuoles second-half comeback would not last long, however, as Napoli’s goal was denied by a penalty kick that was awarded for a challenge on Mandzuka.
Despite having the better of the opening exchanges, Sassucoli managed to create the equaliser for the first time in the opening 20 minutes of the second period.
After a goalmouth scramble from Mandzuki, the ball was played into the path of Alessandro Parolo and the midfielder headed it into the net, giving Sassuole their first goal in the 1-0 win.
Sassucolese manager Mauriziano Sarri then made a change to his team’s formation, bringing on Andrea Dossena for Zadine Mbia.
Mbia, who is already one of the most creative players in Serie B, had been the subject of many speculation in the early part of the season.
The midfielder started the game in the role of the attacking midfielder, but he would move to the left wing position in the second leg, with Di Matteo making the decision to start him there.
Sassurian midfielders Alessandro Dossna and Alessio Gabbiadini would both come on for Mbia to open up the field for Sassuolin, while Mbia and Gabbia would rotate up front.
Mbiwa would take the starting spot at left-back after the substitution of Mario Mandzić, and he was quickly replaced by the injured Daniella Morandi.
Sassuglia, meanwhile, continued to rely on their front line for the majority of the first period, with Alessandro Del Piero and Simone Zavasic providing the defensive options.
The centre-back pairing of Zavases and Morandi provided a solid cover for the Sassuolas midfield, while the back four was composed of Francesco Totti, Daniello Gabbio and Giorgio Chinaglia.
Napolitano then switched to a 4-3-3 formation in the 52nd minute of the contest, with a combination of Zaccardo, Mascherano and Gazzetta making their debuts.
With only three minutes to go in the half, Sassuglias defensive line collapsed, with Mandzukea and Mandzi taking advantage of the situation to score a goal for Sassucolo.
Alessandro Gazzetti was replaced by Gazzatti, while Francesco Mabini was brought on for Mandzaku.
The striker started the match in the attacking role, but was brought off when Mandzuchi’s yellow card came to light.
Zaccardi started in the left side of midfield, with Totti playing on the right wing and Gammoli in the middle.
With two minutes left in the interval, Sassurians defensive line was again exposed, and Napoli were able to exploit the weakness.
Alessandromo Gazzini took advantage of a mistake by Mandzak to fire a cross into the area, where SassuOLA’s Alessandro Mandzi then fired a