One goal and two assists from FantAntonio settled a fiery Emilia derby and the first top flight meeting between the two neighbouring sides. Both teams finished the game with ten men, but Parma stretch their unbeaten run to four games, while Sassuolo stay bottom after a fifth defeat of the season.
Raffaele Palladino put the home side ahead on 21 minutes. Domenico Berardi levelled from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time after Antonio Mirante was given his marching orders, before Parma struck back with second half goals from Aleandro Rosi and Cassano.
Wet conditions saw both sides struggle to get to grips with the heavy surface in the early going. Palladino sent a 30 yard effort wide for the home side, who then lost Jonathan Biabiany to a leg injury.
Palladino and Cassano combined to put the ball in the net on 21 minutes, but play was called back for an offside decision. Cassano wasn't too pleased about the decision.
It took half an hour for Sassuolo to make an impression on the game. Simone Missiroli cut in from the left and forced Mirante into a fingertip save. That sparked Parma into life and they soon went ahead.
Cassano tried an audacious bicycle kick, before controversy struck on the stroke of half time. Berardi seized on Massimo Gobbi's poor backpass and collided with Mirante. Replays suggested the contact was just outside the area. Alessandro Lucarelli cleared a Francesco Magnanelli follow-up off the line, but the referee called play back.
With players from both sides surrounding him, the refeee consulted with his assistant. After a brief debate, he awarded a penalty and sent Mirante off. Parma sacrificed goalscorer Palladino for Pavol Bajza, and the substitute goalkeeper's first task was to pick the ball out of the net after Berardi sent his spot kick right down the middle.
Sassuolo poured forward in the second half. Simone Zaza saw an effort beaten away before Jasmin Kurtic curled a free kick over. Zaza beat the offside trap to stab the ball into the side netting and Antonio Floro Flores saw a grass cutter rebound off the post. The Neroverdi's wastefulness came back to bite them as Parma re-took the lead on 71 minutes against the run of play.
Cassano was given space to cross from the left and his pinpoint ball into the box was headed in by Rosi. The substitute managed to get ahead of Reto Ziegler to glance the ball into the net. Sassuolo almost levelled immediately. Berardi found space in the box to shoot, only to see a weak effort smothered by Bajza.
Instead of drawing level, Sassuolo's inexperience and defensive frailties gifted Parma a third goal. Cassano was left all alone as he brought down a high ball and smashed his shot past Pegolo. Cassano treated the fans to a celebratory dance with smiling president Tommaso Ghirardi watching on in the stands.
Rosi should have added a fourth, but drilled over when one one one. Magnanelli then received two needless cautions in quick succession to compound Sassuolo's miserable afternoon.
Parma: Mirante; Cassani, Lucarelli, Felipe; Biabiany, (Rosi 17) Valdes, (Acquah 81) Gargano, Parolo, Gobbi; Cassano, Palladino (Bajza 45 +4)
Sassuolo: Pegolo; Marzorati, Bianco, Acerbi; Schelotto, (Alexe 77) Kurtic, (Laribi 72) Magnanelli, Missiroli, (Floro Flores 61) Ziegler; Berardi, Zaza
Goals: Palladino 32 (P) Berardi pen 45 + 6 (S) Rosi 71 (P) Cassano 76 (P)
Sent off: Mirante 45 + 3 (P) Magnanelli 87 (S)