Inter are in dire straits after a shock 3-0 home defeat to Bologna, the first in 14 years, meaning they’ve lost five of their last six games in all competition.
The Nerazzurri desperately needed a boost after a run of one point from four League rounds, including Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat to Novara. Diego Milito, Dejan Stankovic, Ricky Alvarez, Walter Samuel and new signing Fredy Guarin were injured, but Claudio Ranieri adopted a 4-2-3-1 system including a rare start for Diego Forlan. Bologna were without Simone Loria, but Alessandro Diamanti and Gaston Ramirez supported veteran Marco Di Vaio. The Rossoblu’s last victory here was in February 1998, followed by eight defeats and two draws.
Marco Davide Faraoni was given a rare start, but picked up a knock in the opening minute and tried to run off the bruise, requiring treatment several times. Wesley Sneijder’s very weak effort was straight at Jean-Francois Gillet and Andrea Ranocchia’s header was deflected over from a free kick.
From that corner, Douglas Maicon was allowed a free header from point-blank range, forcing Gillet to stick out his foot and parry with a fantastic reaction save.
Alessandro Diamanti’s free kick was easily smothered, but Maicon was allowed another free header that this time whistled wide of the near stick.
Moments later, Forlan went close when pounced on a Gaby Mudingayi error and again Gillet blocked the angled drive with his legs at the near post.
Inter wasted their chances, but Bologna did not with a sudden burst forward to take the lead! Lucio’s error at the by-line started the move and Marco Di Vaio finished it off, smartly committing Yuto Nagatomo into a sliding tackle to smash home the angled drive. The veteran had not scored against Inter since 2004.
The Nerazzurri were still stunned from that goal when they conceded a second! Di Vaio sprung the offside trap on a long ball and Andrea Ranocchia chested it down, but effectively turned it into an assist for his opponent to pounce, slotting past a helpless Julio Cesar.
The few fans at San Siro jeered and began insulting chants after this latest horrible setback on home turf. Faraoni blasted well wide following a defensive error just outside the box, but Inter’s reaction was negligible.
Claudio Ranieri surprisingly opted for no substitutions at half-time. Di Vaio threatened to complete his hat-trick with a curling strike that was deflected just past the far top corner off Ranocchia.
Inter finally created a scoring opportunity when Nagatomo cut in from the left and rolled across for the unmarked Forlan, but he only scuffed it and therefore Gillet was able to get it under control with his fingertips at full stretch. The Uruguayan was then substituted and loudly jeered by the San Siro crowd.
The Nerazzurri had a great chance on 67 minutes with Ranocchia’s header from a set play, but Gillet scrambled across to palm it off the line.
Incredibly, Bologna added a third with substitute Robert Acquafresca, who dribbled between three defenders and smashed a daisy-cutter across Julio Cesar into the far bottom corner. It was a special goal for Acquafresca, who for three years was on the Inter books without ever actually playing for the club.
At this stage, large groups of Nerazzurri supporters walked out, while others hurled abuse from the stands.