Jose Mourinho's pre-match accusations aimed at the referee and Sassuolo's standout winger Domenico Berardi created plenty of controversy - and will likely result in another suspension for the Portuguese coach.
There was no questioning Mourinho's choices off the bench on Sunday, though, as Roma earned their sixth win in eight Serie A matches.
Substitute Rasmus Kristensen earned a penalty that Paulo Dybala converted before the Denmark right-back scored to give Roma a 2-1 comeback win at 10-man Sassuolo.
On Saturday, Mourinho had labelled referee Matteo Marcenaro unstable.
"We had him three times as a fourth official and I don't think he has the emotional stability for games of this level," Mourinho said, prompting the Italian soccer federation to open a disciplinary case against the coach.
But Mourinho wasn't done.
He then said Berardi "exaggerates fouls to draw yellow cards", adding, "If he was my player I wouldn't like that at all".
Berardi it was who set up Sassuolo's opener, threading a pass through the area that Matheus Henrique tapped in at the far post.
Mourinho brought on Kristensen for Rick Karsdorp after halftime and the match changed when Daniel Boloca was sent off for a foul on Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes.
Roma moved up to fourth, level on points with Napoli, who lost 3-0 at home to leaders Inter Milan.
After the, Mourinho made a statement in Portuguese, saying his Italian wasn't proficient enough to explain certain concepts in terms of his comments about the referee.
Mourinho was suspended for two matches at the start of this season for comments about a referee. He was also banned for four matches by UEFA in June for verbally abusing the Europa League final officials after Roma lost to Sevilla.
Inter moved back into first place with victory at Napoli.
Hakan Calhanoglu scored with a powerful long-range shot at the end of the first half before Nicolo Barella slalomed through the defence midway through the second half for a goal-of-the-season contender.
Marcus Thuram tapped in a late third to seal victory.
It was defending-champions Napoli's fourth home defeat of the season.
Fiorentina are sixth after a 3-0 win over last-placed Salernitana.
With 102 goals in 2023, Fiorentina set a team record for a year in which they reached the Conference League and Italian Cup finals.
Bologna are seventh following a 1-1 draw at Lecce, while Udinese and Hellas Verona drew 3-3.
Australian Associated Press