Alberto Gilardino’s stunning goal opened the floodgates and eight-man Palermo capitulated for Bologna’s first home win since September 30, but this game had four red cards!
This was a relegation dogfight, as the Rossoblu had lost five of their last six games and would’ve been bottom without Siena’s six-point penalty. The Rosanero got back on track last week thanks to Paulo Dybala’s debut Serie A brace, but went into this game without Fabrizio Miccoli, Abel Hernandez, Mauro Cetto, Andrea Mantovani, Arevalo Rios and Nicolas Bertolo. Bologna missed Michele Pazienza, Carvalho, Robert Acquafresca, Cesare Natali, Henry Gimenez and Marco Motta.
It was a special game for Stefano Pioli, who was famously sacked by Palermo last summer just days before the season kicked off. He was under more pressure at the Dall’Ara, as Bologna fans staged an angry protest before the match.
Gianluca Curci used his legs to parry a Jasmin Kurtic angled drive at the near post, but Alberto Gilardino opened the scoring with an absolute screamer.
Gila gathered in the D, took the ball along with his heel to create space and smashed the half-volley into the far top corner.
Gilardino went close to a second when he spun round Massimo Donati and stung Samir Ujkani’s palms at the near post.
As Gila was tearing Donati apart, Gian Piero Gasperini switched to a four-man defence with Santiago Garcia and Ezequiel Munoz as full-backs.
Bologna were forced into a change, as Gianluca Curci was making his comeback after three months out and landed awkwardly when plucking a Donati cross out of the air, immediately asking for a substitution.
Bologna doubled their lead before half-time, as Donati’s foolish and obvious handling offence gave Manolo Gabbiadini the chance to convert a penalty.
Within 40 seconds of the restart, Palermo had seen red with Ujkani and a penalty was awarded. It was perhaps a futile gesture, as Gilardino had climbed back up after the goalkeeper’s foul and been able to deposit into an empty net. Alessandro Diamanti took the penalty this time and smashed it under the bar with real ferocity.
Understandably, 10-man Palermo crumbled and Bologna wasted numerous chances to expand the scoreline with Gilardino’s weak headers into the arms of substitute goalkeeper Francesco Benussi. The Rosanero did have one chance to make the result less humiliating, but Edgar Barreto’s long-range free kick cracked against the upright.
However, Barreto was then sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving the Sicilians with nine men. Bologna also went down to 10, as Saphir Taider received his second yellow card for an ill-timed challenge.
Palermo were reduced to eight when substitute Carlos Labrin went into a thigh-high challenge right on to Archimede Morleo’s leg for a straight red.
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Sent off: Ujkani 46 (P), Barreto 72 (P), Taider 78 (B), Labrin 82 (P)