Bologna fought valiantly with 10 men for 85 minutes and threatened to snatch a point, but Andrea Poli gave Sampdoria the win.
Both sides ended disastrous streaks last weekend to calm the fans a little bit. Ciro Ferrara saved his job by winning the Genoa Derby after seven consecutive defeats, while Bologna thrashed eight-man Palermo 3-0, but now the pressure was on to prove those results weren’t flukes.
Nicola Pozzi and Maxi Lopez were still out for Sampdoria, but Eder and Gaetano Berardi returned, albeit only on the bench. Bologna’s absentee list included Gianluca Curci, Saphir Taider, Cesare Natali, Robert Acquafresca, Gyorgy Garics, Roger Carvalho and Henry Gimenez.
It was a disastrous start for Bologna, as Archimede Morleo brought down Mauro Icardi on the counter-attack and the referee considered it to be a clear scoring opportunity despite the foul being just into the final third. Morleo was sent off, leaving the Rossoblu with 10 men for practically the entire match.
However, Bologna continued to threaten with Alberto Gilardino’s timid finish at the end of a counter-attack and Andrea Costa risking an own goal to put out Alessandro Diamanti’s free kick.
Pedro Obiang just failed to get on the end of a Krsticic pull-back and Icardi came sliding in a fraction too late to turn in Costa’s cross at the near post.
Obiang tried to shoot from the by-line and would’ve scored a great goal had Federico Agliardi not stuck out a foot to parry.
Agliardi also flew to flap a dangerous Costa cross out for a corner with Krsticic right behind him ready to tap in.
Despite playing with 10 men from the fifth minute, Bologna were still in this game and Diego Perez’s attempt was charged down. At full stretch Agliardi palmed away a dangerous free kick deflected by Daniele Gastaldello in the driving rain.
From the resulting corner, Agliardi came to the rescue again with a fantastic reaction save on Eder’s glancing header from six yards.
Sampdoria finally broke through on the hour mark with midfielder Andrea Poli, who scored his first Serie A goal last week in the Derby. He completed a give-and-go with Eder to burst down the left side of the box and placed his angled drive across the on-rushing Agliardi.
Diamanti nearly gave away a second with a poor backpass intercepted by Eder, but Agliardi rushed out to rescue the situation.
Bologna nearly equalised on 70 minutes when Panagiotis Kone sent Gilardino clear through the middle, but Romero was crucial and clean in cutting him off. Kone went for goal himself soon after, but again Romero stayed on his feet to block.
Sampdoria had two chances to put the result beyond doubt, but Enzo Maresca’s angled drive and a Ferdinando Tissone effort whistled wide, while Cristian Pasquato wasted the opportunity to equalise with a right-foot finish when finding a hole in the Samp defence.
Sent off: Morleo 5 (B)