Rodrigo Palacio scored the goal that doomed his old club Genoa to defeat, but Bologna goalkeeper Antonio Mirante performed heroics at Marassi.
Ivan Juric was under huge pressure after just two points from six rounds, but had Adel Taarabt, Stephane Omeonga and Armando Izzo suspended, plus Gianluca Lapadula and Nicolas Spolli injured. Bologna were fresh from a last-gasp win over Sassuolo, but missed Federico Di Francesco, Ladislav Krejci, Cheick Keita and Cesar Falletti. It was a return to his first Serie A club for Rodrigo Palacio.
Bologna are now unbeaten in the last four trips to Genoa, earning two draws and two 1-0 victories, since the 2-0 result in January 2013.
Within six minutes, Genoa’s 16-year-old striker Pietro Pellegri went into the book for over-enthusiastic tackling and the visitors had the first chance, as Andrea Poli’s back-heel flick sent Palacio down the right, his cross controlled and thumped by Bruno Petkovic to force a Mattia Perin save.
Palacio rode a tackle to flash a ball across the six-yard box, but nobody was ready to tap in, while Miguel Veloso saw his snapshot deflected over and Simone Verdi tried to bend in directly from the corner flag.
There were four yellow cards in the first half and many misplaced passes, as the tension of the situation was evident. Genoa were jeered off the pitch at half-time by their own fans.
They started the second period far more aggressive, but Perin needed a remarkable reaction save when Simone Verdi’s screamer took a big deflection off Isaac Cofie.
Filip Helander used himself as a shield for a crucial block from six yards on substitute Andrej Galabinov, while Palacio’s cross-shot flew just over Poli’s head.
Genoa really should’ve taken the lead on 67 minutes when Raffaele Palladino put the assist on a silver platter for Federico Ricci to blast over from close range.
Mirante, who was back after dislocating a finger, performed an extraordinary double save on Palladino from point-blank range, then got back on his feet to palm a Veloso rocket out of the top corner.
Just as Genoa were throwing everything at Bologna, the visitors struck on the counter with Palacio springing the offside trap, holding off Diego Laxalt and while slipping he steered the angled drive in off the inside of the far post with the outside of his boot.
Mirante came to the rescue again on a Luca Rossettini header, but Mattia Destro should’ve made it 2-0 in a similar situation to Palacio’s goal, losing the duel with Darko Lazovic.
Veloso skimmed the frame of the goal and was booked for dissent, as he insisted Mirante had got a touch.
Galabinov flung himself at an Ervin Zukanovic cross with a strange, twisting header that clipped the outside of the far post at the 89th minute.
Palladino’s free header whistled inches wide, but the offside flag was also up.