Back at the start of December, Francesco Acerbi volleyed in a cross from Matteo Politano to send Sassuolo on their way to a convincing 1-3 win at Sampdoria. A fortnight later and Sassuolo took a point from bottom club Verona with a 1-1 draw, sending the Neroverdi into the winter break sitting eighth in Serie 

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When Juventus slipped to the fourth defeat of their increasingly chaotic title defence against Sassuolo at the end of October, Simone Zaza looked on from the bench and couldn’t make an impact in the 12 minutes he was given at the end of the match. Juventus handed Sassuolo €18 million for Zaza in the summer 

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When the Italian national football team return to action at the end of next month manager Antonio Conte faces an attacking dilemma as he seeks returning the Azzurri to a team capable of competing for a major honour at Euro 2016 after disappointing showings at the past two World Cups. Italy would score just 2 

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In 2010, a 15 year old Domenico Berardi travelled to Modena to visit his older brother Francesco at university, only to start a professional career out of a regular five-a-side game between the siblings and a group of friends. One of his brother’s friends was so startled at Domenico’s talent he made a phone call 

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