Cagliari got their second consecutive victory with Radja Nainggolan on target, but Alberto Gilardino had a ‘phantom goal’ controversy for Bologna.
The Sardinians earned a shock victory away to Torino on the debut of new Coaches Ivo Pulga and Diego Lopez, so were hoping to continue riding that wave of enthusiasm following Massimo Ficcadenti’s exit. Andrea Cossu and Mauricio Pinilla were ruled out by injury, so Radja Nainggolan took the trequartista role. Bologna saw this as a relegation dogfight and Saphir Taider was chosen to support the strikers.
The Is Arenas was once again open to fans, but only in certain sections due to security concerns over the hastily-erected stadium.
There was huge controversy on 12 minutes when Bologna were convinced they had scored. Alberto Gilardino’s cushioned header came off the inside of the post and bounced on the line into Michael Agazzi’s arms. Gila and teammate Taider were adamant it had crossed over and replays suggest it was at least 95 per cent in, but the goal line referees introduced into Serie A this season waved play on. The ball has to be completely over the line for it to count as a goal and the footage suggests this was extremely close, but the correct decision.
Nene took advantage of a lucky ricochet to test Federico Agliardi, who was unexpectedly forced into a diving save.
Just before the break Cagliari had their best chance of the game so far. Andrea Dessena surged forward from midfield and threaded through for Victor Ibarbo, who managed to go round the goalkeeper only to go too wide and was closed down by Antonsson.
Cagliari were more attacking after the restart and after Davide Astori’s header and Daniele Conti toe-poking Pisano’s cross over the bar, the home side took the lead.
Albin Ekdal’s run was charged down by Antonsson, but the ball ricocheted into the path of Nainggolan for a shot under the crossbar.
Gilardino just failed to get on the end of a Gyorgy Garics cross and Manolo Gabbiadini was introduced to further spice up the Bologna attack.
Panagiotis Kone tested Agazzi and Under-21 international Gabbiadini fired off target twice. Alessandro Diamanti unleashed a powerful curler that Agazzi beat away with some difficulty.
Niccolo’ Cherubin turned a header wide of the post, but Bologna’s efforts did not pay off.