Serie A – ‘AC Milan are my lucky team’ smiles Sassuolo striker after seven goals in two games
Domenico Berardi admits “facing Milan brings me luck” after his hat-trick gave Sassuolo a 3-2 victory.
The Italy Under-21 international famously got four goals in this fixture last season and the Neroverdi have won both meetings with Milan this term.
Berardi’s hat-trick included a so-called phantom goal against Milan to give Sassuolo a 3-2 win against opponents who finished the game with nine men.
“Facing Milan brings me luck, as every time I play against them I seem to score!” Berardi told Sky Sport Italia.
“If we always played against Milan, it’d be great! This is an important season and every week I worked to improve even more.
“We’ll see what we do in June, whether I stay or go, but I believe that I will stay. I have to evaluate the situation with my agents in June.”
Berardo was asked about the opening goal, which did not appear to entirely cross the line – though replays were inconclusive.
“I couldn’t tell from my position, but the official was in the ideal place to judge, so I can only trust what he saw.”
Milan had Giacomo Bonaventura and Suso sent off in the second half as their frustration boiled over, their grievances including Berardi’s first goal.
Last season, Berardi scored all four goals in a 4-3 win for Sassuolo which led to Massimiliano Allegribeing fired as Milan coach the next day.
Allegri has this season led Juventus to the Serie A title and Champions League final.
Milan’s defeat left them 10th in Serie A and continued a miserable season for the seven-times European champions under Filippo Inzaghi.
Berardi struck after 13 minutes when his 25-metre shot was fumbled by Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez who clawed the ball away, only to see the goal awarded.
It was the latest ball-over-the-line controversy in Serie A which will introduce goal-line technology from next season.
The 20-year-old doubled Sassuolo’s lead before the half hour, breaking clear of the offside trap to fire a left-foot shot past Lopez.
Milan hit back as Bonaventura reduced the arrears with an individual goal and defender Alex headed the equaliser early in the second half.
They appeared to be getting on top when Bonaventura, having been booked for dissent, was given a second yellow card for handball.
As Sassuolo turned the screw, Berardi had one effort brilliantly blocked by Lopez but was not to be denied and turned in the winner from close range after a clever Simone Zaza dummy in the 77th minute.
Milan substitute Stephan El Shaarawy had a late penalty appeal turned down and halftime substitute Suso was sent off for an awful studs-up tackle, Milan’s 12th red card of the season, as Sassuolo completed an unlikely double over their opponents.