In a sluggish affair at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, a Mattias Svanberg strike saw Bologna defeat Roma 1-0, a disappointing result for the Rome club who had previously won four of their last five Serie A matches against ’I Rossoblù’.
The match started out cagily, with both sides spending the first fifteen minutes feeling their opponents out. It would take until the 19th minute for the first real chance of the game, which fell to Roma striker Tammy Abraham, but the Englishman’s header from point-blank range failed to trouble Bologna goalkeeper Łukasz Skorupski or the target. The deadlock was eventually broken ten minutes before the break when the hosts’ Svanberg collected the ball on the edge of the box and, after taking a touch to get it out of his feet, curled into the bottom right-hand corner to give the home side a HT lead.
Despite José Mourinho making attacking substitutions in an attempt to pull them level, the ‘Giallorossi’ found it difficult to carve out too many quality scoring chances in the second period. The home side managed to keep the majority of play in midfield, and took the sting out of proceedings as often as possible. Henrikh Mkhitaryan had the best opportunity, but his effort was straight at Skorupski, who dealt with it relatively comfortably, while the Armenian’s lob at the second attempt drifted narrowly over the bar. A late shout for a penalty from the away side was denied by the offside flag, while Skorupski thwarted Abraham’s shot on the turn to ensure Bologna collected a hard-fought three points.
A fourth league victory in their last five matches sees Siniša Mihajlović’s side close the gap between them and tonight’s opponents to one point in the race for a European spot in a very tight Serie A table.