Federico Chiesa’s spectacular curler and a German Pezzella header gave Fiorentina victory, but Rodrigo Palacio kept Bologna in it to the end.
The Derby dell’Appennino – named after the mountain range separating the cities – had the Viola eager to build on last week’s 5-0 victory at Verona and fielding an unchanged XI. Bologna moved Rodrigo Palacio to the centre-forward role, benching Mattia Destro, while Vasilis Torosidis, Cheick Keita, Domenico Maietta, Sebastien De Maio, Ladislav Krejci and Cesar Falletti were injured.
Fiorentina are now unbeaten in their last seven Serie A meetings with Bologna, winning five of them, while the Rossoblu have lost their last six trips to the Stadio Franchi.
Cyril Thereau’s header from a Cristian Biraghi free kick was plucked out from under the bar and Jordan Veretout’s long-range strike whistled wide.
The hosts dominated possession early doors, but struggled to break through the organised Roberto Donadoni-drilled defence.
Instead, Palacio ran on to a Simone Verdi through ball and hit the side-netting from a tight angle, while Erick Pulgar’s ferocious half-volley from 25 metres was smothered.
Federico Chiesa also attempted an audacious long-range effort that Antonio Mirante blocked, but the Italy Under-21 international went even closer when he sprinted from one end of the pitch to the other and drilled inches wide.
The second half exploded into life and Chiesa finally got his fully-deserved goal in spectacular style. Cutting in from the left to curl an unstoppable right-foot effort into the far top corner, it was a goal eerily reminiscent of ones scored by his father, Enrico Chiesa.
However, while the Viola were still celebrating, Bologna equalised immediately. Davide Astori slipped – though he felt he was pushed – and Palacio smashed in on the half-volley from the D. Remarkably, that was the first Bologna goal at the Stadio Franchi for six years.
Fiorentina restored their advantage with German Pezzella’s debut Serie A strike. Cristian Biraghi whipped in a corner and the defender back-pedalled to get his header, looping it into the far top corner.
Chiesa surged forward again, drilling just wide of the near post, and a Simeone overhead kick whistled inches past the far stick.
Bologna were still in it to the very end and on 84 minutes Palacio nearly completed his brace, a header thumping the upright from eight yards, and a series of corners in stoppages made it a tense finale.