Bologna ended a 14-match winless streak in Serie A after overcoming Inter 1-0 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Sinisa Mihajovic’s first game since taking over from Pippo Inzaghi.
It marked the end of a turbulent week for the Nerazzurri after they were eliminated from the Coppa Italia on penalties by Lazio on Thursday, as Federico Santander grabbed the only goal of the game for Bologna.
Going into the match, Inter hadn’t conceded at home in Serie A since September against Fiorentina, nor lost at home in eight matches.
Inter almost had the best possible start as Andrea Poli gifted the ball to Mauro Icardi inside the Bologna penalty area, but the Nerazzurri captain slashed the shot and put it wide.
Samir Handanovic denied Bologna on a couple of occasions. First, Riccardo Orsolini had a low drive saved, then Santander found himself free on the edge of the area, but the Inter goalkeeper pulled off another fantastic stop. However, that was just the appetiser as Santander ghosted in at the near post to nod home an Erick Pulgar corner and give Bologna the lead.
Inter should have equalised almost immediately, as good combination play from Ivan Perisic and Dalbert eventually found Matis Vecino free, 12 yards out, but he blasted over the crossbar.
Lukasz Skorupski then came to his side’s rescue as Icardi was in on goal, but as he tried to round the goalkeeper, the Pole quickly snatched the ball from his feet.
After the break Inter threatened through Radja Nainggolan but Skorupski denied the Belgian with a good low save. Again, the Nerazzurri were unable to put relatively easy chances in the back of the net, as Lautaro Martinez headed inches wide while unmarked in the box.
Icardi was next up to fire off target, and as time ran down Luciano Spalletti threw on Andrea Ranocchia as a makeshift striker. It almost paid off as the defender forced a brilliant save from Skorupski with a volley from just inside the box, but Inter left the field to a chorus of whistles from the fans clearly unhappy at the week’s events.
WHISTLES ALL ROUND
The fans had returned against Sassuolo, but the Ultras were back against Bologna, and made their feelings known throughout. Banners were turned upside down, Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan whistled when announced in the starting XI with even louder whistles reserved for the side when half-time came. Upon full time, eardrums burst. Rodrigo Palacio got a standing ovation though, so it wasn’t all doom and gloom from the Nerazzurri.
LACK OF OPTIONS
Both Perisic and Nainggolan came back into the side after being left out against Lazio, and neither was able to light up the Meazza. Icardi was again isolated up front, and even the introduction of Lautaro was unable to spark Inter into life, and as they went looking for an equaliser, Ranocchia was a makeshift centre forward, and although he had a couple of good chances, underlines the lack of attacking options Spalletti has.