SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 1 - 20 Aug 2017 (19.45 UK)
Bologna 1 - 1 Torino
Di Francesco 27 (B), Ljajic 34 (T)
Stadio Renato Dall’Ara

Adem Ljajic wiped out a splendid Federico Di Francesco opener, but Torino had a late goal controversially disallowed in Bologna.

Roberto Donadoni’s season got off to a disastrous start, crashing out of the Coppa Italia with a 4-0 home defeat to Cittadella, as Simone Verdi was sent off within five minutes for lashing out an elbow. He kept his place in the starting XI anyway, while Toro missed Daniele Baselli, Mirko Valdifiori, Lyanco and suspended Lucas Boye.

These sides last shared the spoils in a 2-2 Dall’Ara draw in April 2013, as Toro won four and lost two. That includes an infamous 5-1 hammering last season with Andrea Belotti’s hat-trick.

It was almost the perfect start for Belotti, as Il Gallo’s header skimmed the woodwork from a Davide Zappacosta assist after 120 seconds.

Federico Di Francesco was the star of the show, as he thumped the outside of the post on a Vasilis Torosidis cross.

Soon after, the son of Roma Coach Eusebio Di Francesco broke the deadlock with a splendid individual strike. He controlled Simone Verdi’s cross, let it bounce and smashed the half-volley back into the far top corner off his left foot.

Torino got their equaliser thanks largely to an Antonio Mirante howler, as Adem Ljajic nutmegged Erick Pulgar and his snapshot squirmed through the goalkeeper’s gloves.

Mirante made up for it after the restart, fingertipping a viciously dipping Ljajic free kick on to the upright, then denying Iago Falque’s volley.

Di Francesco was a constant danger, his angled drive flashing across the face of goal after an Adam Masina back-heel flick.

There was controversy and confusion with five minutes to go. Toro had the ball in the back of the net with Alex Berenguer, but only after Belotti was flagged offside. However, after several minutes of VAR examination, they could not rule that Destro had the final touch to pass it for Belotti. This is because the play had already been halted and VAR cannot change that decision. The linesman and referee should've let the move run to its natural conclusion before checking the replays.

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Bologna: Mirante; Torosidis, Maietta, De Maio, Masina; Pulgar, Poli (Donsah 70), Taider (Krejci 82); Verdi (Palacio 82), Destro, Di Francesco
Torino: Sirigu; Zappacosta, Nkoulou, Moretti, Molinaro; Acquah, Obi (Rincon 76); Falque, Ljajic, Berenguer; Belotti
Ref: Massa