Sinisa Mihajlovic took revenge on his old club, as Bologna earned a shock 3-2 victory away to Torino in a game with disallowed goals and two red cards, ruining their European ambitions.
The Granata knew from Roma’s defeat earlier that a victory would take them into joint fifth place and they had practically a full squad to choose from. Sinisa Mihajlovic returned to face his old club and had several other former Torino figures, but top scorer Federico Santander was out with a dislocated shoulder.
It was a fiery start from the visitors, who thought they had taken the lead within three minutes from a short corner, as Salvatore Sirigu parried the initial shot and couldn’t get to the Rodrigo Palacio follow-up because Lyanco had clattered into him, so the goal was disallowed.
Moments later, Torino broke the deadlock instead. This too was a short corner finding Cristian Ansaldi from the edge of the box, but Lukasz Skorupski seemed to have his shot covered until Erick Pulgar’s attempted clearance ended up wrong-footing him.
It was end to end stuff, as Andrea Belotti prodded over from close range, while Sirigu got down for a fine one-handed save on Riccardo Orsolini’s angled drive from 10 yards.
Bologna lost captain Blerim Dzemaili to a muscular problem just 22 minutes in, bringing on Andrea Poli. It proved a stroke of good luck rather than bad, because Palacio’s cross floated to Poli for a header at the back post, as Ansaldi mistimed the jump.
Nicola Sansone’s strike was deflected just wide and on the resulting corner, Soualiho Meite foolishly moved his hand in front of his face to interrupt the ball and a penalty was inevitable after the VAR review.
Pulgar sent spot-kick specialist Sirigu the wrong way to convert and turn the game on its head at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. As he got the deflection for the Torino goal, it meant Pulgar was on both sides of the scoresheet.
Torino had penalty appeals for handball in first half stoppages, but from point-blank range and the hand was in any case leaning on the Toro player’s back.
Ansaldi’s snapshot was at a good height for the goalkeeper, but the hosts struggled to create any chances, so introduced Iago Falque.
Skorupski straight away had his toughest save to make, flying for a strong one-handed parry under the bar on Tomas Rincon’s rasping strike.
However, it was Bologna who found the net at the other end moments later. It was very similar to the second goal, another Palacio floated ball to the back post and this time Ola Aina didn’t jump, allowing Sansone a free header. However, after several minutes delay, news came through from the VAR booth that was disallowed for an extremely tight offside decision.
Unperturbed, Bologna got the ball in the net again and this time it counted. Soriano caught Rincon in possession, Palacio threaded through and Orsolini slipped the finish under Sirigu’s body from a tight angle.
Palacio was unstoppable and got past Armando Izzo to pull back from the by-line, as desperate defending prevented another Bologna tap-in, while Nicolas Nkoulou was booked for a foul on La Trenza and will be suspended against Fiorentina.
Toro seemed to have given up when they received two boosts in the space of 60 seconds. First, Lyanco received a second yellow card for taking out Alex Berenguer on the counter, then the long free kick found an Izzo header at the back post that Skorupski comically flapped into his own net.
Suddenly, the game had changed and Skorupski smothered the Iago Falque strike, but immediately Ola Aina got himself sent off too, as he was booked for clattering Palacio, then said something to the referee for a second yellow card straight away.
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Sent off: Lyanco 87 (B), Aina 92 (T)