Improving Sassuolo battled back from a half-time deficit to record their second 3-1 victory in four days, following up their first win of the season against Parma with an entertaining triumph over Empoli.
Sassuolo went into the break trailing to a Daniele Croce goal after missing a host of chances, but they hit back through second-half goals from Simone Missiroli, Sergio Floccari and Domenico Berardi.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s men even had the luxury of missing a penalty through Berardi as they claimed a deserved victory that moves them onto 10 points, three above Empoli.
Both teams began with attacking intent but it was Sassuolo who soon claimed the upper hand and they will still be wondering how they came to be behind at the interval.
Their first good chance, after six minutes, saw Floccari’s deflected drive come back off the crossbar before Empoli goalkeeper Davide Bassi saved from Nicola Sansone and Francesco Acerbi.
Centre-back Acerbi, who was unmarked six yards out, should have done better with that chance, and that was also the case 60 seconds later as Saphir Taider headed a great opening over from a similar distance.
Sassuolo were then made to pay for their profligacy as, completely against the run of play, Empoli took an 18th-minute lead.
A cross from the right was sliced across the area by Piotr Zielinski and Croce latched on to it to side-foot home.
Sassuolo continued to pepper the Empoli goal as they sought an equaliser before the break but the best of their numerous efforts saw Missiroli’s downward header awkwardly pushed out by Bassi.
And it might have been even more frustrating for the home side as Empoli twice came close to extending their lead at the end of the half, Massimo Maccarone almost capitalising on a spill by Sassuolo keeper Andrea Consigli before Matias Vecino saw a brilliantly-executed volley smash against the top of the post.
Incredibly, Empoli also hit the bar at the start of the second half through Zielinski’s superb 25-yard effort.
Those were three major let-offs for Sassuolo, and they made the most of them by netting three times in the second half to claim their first home Serie A win of the season.
Missiroli levelled things in the 56th minute with a close-range volley from Taider’s cross, and they should have taken the lead moments later when they won a penalty after the dangerous Sansone was bundled over by Elseid Hysaj.
However, Berardi spurned the chance as he drilled his spot-kick against the bar.
Sassuolo need not have worried though as two minutes later they were ahead as Berardi made amends for his penalty miss by setting up Floccari to fire home via a deflection from the edge of the box.
The hosts were dominating and they made it 3-1 in the 73rd minute when Sansone’s cross to the far post was headed in by Berardi.