Alberto Gilardino bagged a brace as Bologna crushed Chievo 4-0 in a relegation tussle at the Dall’Ara. It broke a lean streak of one goal in the last 13 games for the striker.
This was a relegation dogfight to open Serie A Week 20, though the Flying Donkeys were in considerably better shape. Archimede Morleo and Tiberio Guarente sat out bans for the home side, joining the injured Saphir Taider, Cesare Natali and Henry Gimenez. Chievo missed Boukary Drame, Nicolas Frey, Perparim Hetemaj and the suspended Dario Dainelli, but surprisingly picked Kamil Vacek in a trident attack.
Gilardino failed to make the most of a Gyorgy Garics chance after Alessandro Diamanti’s backheel flick. Manolo Gabbiadini went even closer, as he thumped the base of the upright from a tight angle down the left.
Bologna’s pressure paid off after 13 minutes, as Vacek lost sight of Panagiotis Kone on the corner and the Greek international was allowed to nod in relatively undisturbed.
Roberto Guana limped off with an injury to make way for striker Alberto Paloschi, as Chievo reshuffled. Garics risked an own goal when heading Cyril Thereau’s free kick off target and Federico Agliardi had to rush off his line to intercept a dangerous Adrian Stoian cross.
The pressure intensified on the Bologna area and Agliardi flew to palm a Thereau free kick round the post. Bostjan Cesar also had penalty appeals for what he felt was a shirt-tug from Nicolo Cherubin.
However, against the run of play it was Bologna who doubled their lead before the break. Thereau was dispossessed in midfield to spark a counter-attack which Gilardino finished off with a delicate lob.
Agliardi again came out to block at Thereau’s feet and substitute Sergio Pellissier’s free header was off target, but once again Bologna were clinical when Gilardino was first to a Diamanti corner kick.
Luciano’s free kick was inches wide against his former club and Alberto Paloschi had the ball in the net, but only after using his arm.
Paloschi really should’ve scored on 82 minutes when sent clear on goal by a Luciano through ball, but incredibly thumped the upright as Agliardi came tearing out.
Gabbiadini made it 4-0 with a wonderful solo effort. He gathered outside the box, spun round, used strength to hold off his marker and at full stretch toe-poked past the on-rushing goalkeeper into an empty net.