Inter only managed a point away to Bologna after hitting the woodwork twice and wasting numerous chances.
Hugo Campagnaro returned after two months month out with injury, good timing as Andrea Ranocchia was suspended with Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu, Mauro Icardi and Diego Milito sidelined. Bologna’s last home victory over Inter was in February 2002, followed by one draw and eight defeats.
Saphir Taider faced his former club and received a yellow card within the opening 90 seconds.
Bologna took the lead against the run of play with a classic counter-attack from Inter’s corner. It was rolled across for Panagiotis Kone to sidefoot home relatively unmarked from 11 yards. The Rossoblu were also irritated, as Taider pulled Alessandro Diamanti’s jersey in the build-up and if the referee hadn’t played the advantage, it would likely have been a second yellow.
Moments later it was almost 1-1, as Rodrigo Palacio brought down a long ball between two defenders and Gianluca Curci used his legs to take the sting out of the shot.
Cristaldo’s header was straight at Samir Handanovic and Diamanti’s attempt was charged down, while Inter were forced to replace Yuto Nagatomo with a calf problem.
Palacio had another great opportunity from Jonathan’s chipped cross, but the header whistled inches wide with Curci rooted to the spot. Inter somehow failed to score just before half-time, as Taider and Alvaro Pereira passes flashed to and fro across the face of goal with nobody able to get the final tap-in.
With the final kick of the half, Guarin’s free kick took a deflection and cracked against the crossbar.
Straight after the restart, Handanovic got down with a clumsy save on Diamanti’s free kick that was squirming in at the near post.
Inter got the equaliser with a bit of luck, as Jonathan’s snapshot took a deflection off Fredrik Sorensen’s toe to wrong-foot Curci.
Esteban Cambiasso fired straight at the goalkeeper, but moments later Handanovic flew to palm away a sudden Rolando Bianchi half-volley from distance. Curci needed a knee to parry Guarin’s attempt from six yards, then the Colombian ballooned over Jonathan’s assist under pressure from Jose Crespo.
Kone attempted one of his trademark scissor-kick volleys, but this time it was over the bar. In stoppages, Rolando rose above the crowd to get his head to a corner, but Curci beat it off the line. From that corner, Inter went even closer to a winner, as Juan Jesus hit a screamer of a volley that smacked against the bar.