Bologna notched up their third consecutive victory and intensified the Roma crisis with a 3-2 victory at the Stadio Olimpico, as Musa Barrow scored two and assisted the other.
The Giallorossi were smarting after three defeats in their last five Serie A games, with Lorenzo Pellegrini suspended, Nicolò Zaniolo, Amadou Diawara and Davide Zappacosta injured. Henrikh Mkhitaryan returned from the start after a long lay-off, with Diego Perotti preferred to Justin Kluivert and Aleksandar Kolarov at left-back. The visitors had Andrea Poli banned, Federico Santander, Nicola Sansone, Gary Medel, Ladislav Krejci and Mitchell Dijks injured, so Musa Barrow got his first start.
Sinisa Mihajlovic was released from hospital that morning after anti-viral treatment, but travelled straight to Rome so he could sit on the bench.
It was an aggressive start from the visitors and Chris Smalling had to charge down a Riccardo Orsolini effort set up by Rodrigo Palacio.
However, Smalling was caught out when Barrow’s cross off the outside of the boot rolled beyond Palacio and found Orsolini to tap in at the far post. It had been coming, as Bologna had the better of the game until that point.
Roma tried to reply straight away, but Stefano Denswil did enough to put Edin Dzeko off, then Jerzy Schouten should’ve made it 2-0 when blasting over from seven yards.
The equaliser was a stroke of luck for the Giallorossi, as Aleksandar Kolarov’s low cross slipped under Dzeko’s foot and Denswil accidentally bundled it over his own line when attempting to anticipate Cengiz Under.
It was wide open and Barrow restored Bologna’s lead when his curler from just inside the box took a deflection off Davide Santon’s shin to loop beyond Pau Lopez into the far top corner.
This was the first time since March 2005 that Roma had conceded two goals in the first half of back-to-back Serie A games.
Mattias Svanberg curled wide from a very promising position, then Schouten sent Palacio clear down the right, forcing a save at the base of the near post.
The second half did not start any better, as Kolarov said something to the fans who heckled him, so they then jeered him at his every touch.
During this tense moment, Bologna went 3-1 up when Barrow cut inside from the left past Gianluca Mancini to curl right-footed into the far bottom corner from 10 yards.
Carles Perez came off the bench and tested Lukasz Skorupski at the near stick, then set up Perotti for an effort charged down from close range.
It was a different substitute who made an impact, as Bruno Peres pulled back from the by-line for Mkhitaryan’s header at the near post, getting in front of his marker for 3-2.
Dzeko then forced a save out of Skorupski, but it all went wrong for Roma again moments later when Bryan Cristante was shown a straight red card. He seemingly tried to let the ball roll under his boot, but instead caught Orsolini’s ankle with studs-up.
Barrow limped off with an ankle injury, having contributed two goals and an assist.
Dzeko scored the last-gasp winner for Roma at the Dall’Ara earlier this season and nearly got the equaliser here. In stoppages, he forced a double save out of Skorupski with a powerful strike, then saw his lob slapped away on the rebound
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk
Sent off: Cristante 80 (R)