Bologna secured their Serie A survival with a 3-3 draw against Coppa Italia winners Lazio after an exhilarating second half featuring five goals.
Joaquin Correa opened the scoring for Lazio in the first half before Andrea Poli and Mattia Destro responded with a quickfire double after the break to put the Rossoblu in front.
Bastos equalised with a superb strike only for Riccardo Orsolini to put the visitors back in front, but substitute Sergej Milinkovic pulled the Aquile level with an exquisite free-kick 10 minutes from time.
The result means Bologna are assured of top-flight football next season as victory took Sinisa Mihjalovic’s side up to 12th place on 41 points, four points clear of the relegation zone with one round of fixtures remaining.
Correa put Lazio in front after quarter of an hour, gathering Lucas Leiva’s pass with a wonderful first touch that bought him the space inside the area before tucking a finish into the corner.
While the celebrations were going on, a section of Lazio fans unveiled a banner in tribute to departing Roma captain Daniele De Rossi which read: “The Curva Nord salutes De Rossi, proud and immovable enemy on the pitch.”
It didn’t go down well with the rest of the crowd, who roared boos of disapproval when the message appeared on the big screens in the stadium.
Ciro Immobile had a golden chance to double Lazio’s lead and end his goal drought when he was played through on goal by Marco Parolo, but the Italy striker pulled his finish wide of the target.
Lazio were left stunned by a double punch from the visitors as the rain poured down after the break, with Poli catching out debutant goalkeeper Guido Guerrieri by beating him at his near post with a powerful strike before Destro tapped in from close range two minutes later as the hosts’ defence fell to pieces.
The home side drew level from an unlikely source just before the hour mark when defender Bastos twisted in the box and curled shot into the opposite top corner.
Bologna weren’t going down without a fight, though, and continued the thrilling start to the second half when Orsolini profited from some poor defending by knocking in a finish from close range after Lazio failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Inzaghi looked to his bench and brought on Milinkovic-Savic, fresh from scoring Lazio’s opener in the Coppa Italia final and being crowned as Serie A’s midfielder of the season. The Serbian was again decisive, curling a free-kick into the top corner to level with 10 minutes remaining.
Immobile squandered another good opportunity with three minutes remaining, firing over from a central position inside the box with just the keeper to beat.
Correa hitting his stride
After his dazzling solo goal clinched the Coppa Italia for Lazio last week, Joaquin Correa was at it again with a superbly taken opening goal.
The Argentine took some time to settle in Rome, had to deal with criticism for not being clinical enough and, in that respect, he is hitting peak form at the worst possible time.
Four of his eight goals for the season in all competitions have come over the course of the last month and if the evidence of this end to the season is anything to go by, the 24-year-old could be a difference-maker for the capital club on a more regular basis next season.
Mihajlovic Bologna’s saviour
Sinisa Mihajlovic had a big job on his hands when he took over a Bologna side in wretched form in January.
Pippo Inzaghi’s tenure had left the club looking doomed, as they had picked up just two wins in 21 league games before the Serbian’s arrival.
The coach deserves enormous credit for turning the Emilia-Romagna side’s fortunes around, as going into the final game with safety already secured was a dream that seemed extremely distant midway through the campaign.