Genoa showed great heart to repeatedly fight back at the Dall’Ara, but were beaten 3-2 and slide closer to the nightmare of relegation.
The early Sunday kick-off was a relegation dogfight, although Bologna were six points in front of their opponents. Genoa were under huge pressure with a one-point lead over the drop zone and the memory of fans forcing their last home game with Siena to be suspended for 40 minutes while they demanded the “unworthy” players remove their jerseys.
Bosko Jankovic sat out a ban after his red card against Milan, joining the injured Kevin Constant, Cesare Bovo and Luca Antonelli. Bologna missed Henry Gimenez, Nico Pulzetti, Jean-Francois Gillet, Federico Casarini and Rene Krhin.
Bologna took the lead with the first real opportunity of the match after 24 minutes. A left-sided free kick was whipped in to the six-yard box by Alessandro Diamanti, where Daniele Portanova got away from his markers for a free header.
Genoa threatened when Giuseppe Sculli and Rodrigo Palacio came sliding in at the back post, but were just unable to get on the end of Giandomenico Mesto’s cross.
Diamanti curled a free kick just over the bar and Juraj Kucka nodded wide for Genoa, but Bologna doubled their advantage.
A cross-field pass found Marco Di Vaio and his angled drive was beaten away by Sebastien Frey, but only into the path of Gaston Ramirez for the easiest of tap-ins.
Genoa introduced Davide Biondini for the second half, but within 120 seconds Di Vaio had just failed to get his head to a Ramirez cross from the right.
Federico Agliardi was forced into his first save on 51 minutes, beating a Kucka snapshot round the post. From that corner, Kakha Kaladze nodded against the bar from point-blank range. He claimed his shirt was being pulled, but the referee waved play on.
Genoa were more attacking in this half and pulled a goal back. A long free kick was nodded from the by-line to the near post by Marco Rossi, where Rodrigo Palacio got the decisive header from six yards.
It was almost a perfect comeback moments later, but Palacio dragged his angled drive across the face of goal. Substitute Cristobal Jorquera fired a meek effort straight at the goalkeeper.
However, Bologna restored the two-goal cushion with a well-worked move, as Belfodil burst past Rossi down the left, pulled back for Diamanti to spread the play for Gyorgy Garics to side-foot home from 12 yards.
Sculli’s shot was deflected over the bar by Portanova, but it still wasn’t over as Genoa again got back into the game with 13 minutes left.
Palacio went on a pacey run from midfield and nutmegged Taider when rolling across the box for substitute Cristobal Jorquera to fire home at the back post.
It was nearly 3-3, as Agliardi palmed a Ze Eduardo shot round the base of the near stick. Kaladze had to limp on for the final 10 minutes, as all the substitutions had been completed.
Genoa deserved an equaliser in stoppages when a corner came in for Kucka’s header, but Agliardi flew to flap it out from under the crossbar. From another corner, Sculli was also allowed a free header, but this time turned it off target.