A late Marco Parolo screamer gave Cesena a shock 1-0 victory away to local rivals Bologna – their first of the season.
This was the Emilia-Romagna derby and a relegation dogfight between two clubs who had already sacked their Coaches this season. Stefano Pioli managed to revive Bologna’s fortunes, but Daniele Arrigoni lost his debut at home to 10-man Lecce and here had to do without Jorge Martinez, Giuseppe Colucci, Abdel Ghezzal and Damian Djokovic, while Antonio Candreva was suffering from flu.
Bologna had a great chance after nine minutes when Adrian Mutu lost possession, but Gaston Ramirez’s shot was charged down, so Marco Di Vaio was offside as the ball rolled into his path.
Andrea Raggi nodded well over from a looping cross, when perhaps he should’ve left it for Di Vaio. Veteran Di Vaio was halted when clear on goal for an incorrect offside flag.
Cesena finally created an opportunity on the half-hour as Marco Parolo unleashed a screamer from distance that shaved a coat of paint off the crossbar. Adrian Mutu also threatened, his angled run getting only a scraped boot to the through ball, turning it wide.
The audacious Di Vaio overhead kick was off target, while Dominque Malonga’s left-foot strike sailed just over the bar.
Parolo again went agonisingly close, his daisy-cutter from the edge of the box flashing inches past the far post.
Robert Acquafresca should’ve scored after the restart, as he had plenty of time and space to pick his spot, but fired straight at the goalkeeper. Even then, Francesco Antonioli fumbled and almost let the ball roll through his legs.
At the other end, there was an even bigger howler from Jean-Francois Gillet, as he comically flapped at a corner and no Cesena players were ready to tap into an empty net from point-blank range.
Gillet again looked uncertain soon after, palming a Mutu free kick out for a corner when it was going wide anyway. The Belgian shot-stopper did better by getting his fingertips to a curling Mutu free kick that was heading for the back post. From that corner, the Romanian nodded just wide.
Panagiotis Kone had such a good opportunity when he skipped past three Cesena players at the by-line, but then finished it off by horribly ballooning over from six yards.
It looked as if the ball would not go in for either side, but with six minutes to go Parolo broke through with a blockbuster! He was 20 metres out and hit a right-foot screamer that flew into the top corner past Gillet’s outstretched hand.
Alessandro Diamanti could’ve equalised, but fired right at Antonioli at the near post. The former West Ham United star had another great chance in stoppages, but once more Antonioli performed a crucial save.