Domenico Berardi scored for Sassuolo to earn a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Saturday in Serie A.
Jakub Jankto hit the post for Sampdoria and Sassuolo winger Hamed Traore had a neat finish disallowed for offside in the first half, before Italy international Berardi's inventive close-range finish put Sassuolo ahead on the 69th minute.
Roberto De Zerbi's side have won four games in a row and are now within touching distance of Roma, who travel to relegation-battling Cagliari on Sunday.
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Genoa moved three points ahead of Ligurian neighbours Spezia and eight points clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, a result that could prove crucial for their survival hopes.
Two substitutes made the difference for the hosts as Gianluca Scamacca scored a tap-in and Eldor Shomurodov curled a strike into the top corner in the second half.
Bottom side Crotone's relegation would have been assured with a defeat by second-bottom Parma, but the Calabrians earned a stay of execution with a thrilling 4-3 win.
Lisandro Magallan's opener was cancelled out by Parma midfielder Hernani before Nwankwo Simy and Adam Ounas struck to give Crotone a 3-1 halftime lead.
Roberto D'Aversa's side launched a spirited response as Gervinho and Valentin Mihaila drew them level, but a Simy penalty put the visitors back in front and lifted Crotone up to 18 points, two behind 19th-placed Parma but 13 adrift of safety.
It was the Simy's 19th league goal of the season and his 28th in total in Serie A, a landmark that meant he equalled former Inter Milan striker Obafemi Martins as the highest-scoring Nigerian in the league's history.
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