Inter saw their 100 per cent record come to an end, as Mauro Icardi’s controversial late penalty wiped out a Simone Verdi screamer in Bologna.
Luciano Spalletti made just one change to the side that beat Crotone on Saturday, Yuto Nagatomo in for Dalbert, as they were looking for a fifth consecutive victory to stay on top of the table. The hosts missed Ladislav Krejci, Cesar Falletti, Vasilis Torosidis and Cheick Keita.
Bologna have not beaten Inter at all since a 1-0 result at San Siro in March 2013, managing four draws and four losses between Serie A and the Coppa Italia. The last time the Nerazzurri lost at the Dall’Ara was 2-1 in February 2002.
It was a bright start, as Antonio Candreva’s pull-back went behind Joao Mario, then Federico Di Francesco cut in from the left to curl inches past the near top corner.
Bologna grew in confidence, as on eight minutes Simone Verdi thumped the upright from a tight angle, with the aid of Samir Handanovic’s fingertips, and Erick Pulgar drilled the rebound just wide.
Verdi cut inside from the left again to fire over the bar, then failed to get his finish on target when pouncing on a terrible Handanovic clearance.
Yuto Nagatomo drilled wide and Handanovic beat away a Verdi free kick, but Bologna took a fully deserved lead when Verdi surged forward from midfield and unleashed a left-foot scorcher from 25 metres.
Verdi’s confidence was up and his volley charged down, but Inter struggled to keep the ball for any period of time. On the stroke of half-time, Mauro Icardi just failed to get on the end of an Ivan Perisic cross.
Inter were more aggressive after the restart and put together a series of corners, from which Antonio Mirante denied Joao Miranda’s glancing header with a one-handed save and plucked Milan Skriniar’s long-range volley out of the air.
Godfred Donsah blasted over and Di Francesco limped off for ex-Inter star Rodrigo Palacio.
However, a bizarre incident changed the game, as Ibrahima Mbaye (another former Nerazzurri player) lost his footing and slipped, accidentally clattering into the back of Eder. The Inter striker was running away from goal and didn’t look likely to get the ball. The referee, confirmed by VAR officials, awarded a penalty, which Icardi converted to equalise.
The visitors didn't do much to force a winner in the closing stages, although with the last kick of the game Mirante anticipated Icardi on a Marcelo Brozovic cross.