Bologna had a penalty saved and went down to 10 men, but still earned a surprise point away to Hellas Verona.
Hellas had to do without star striker Luca Toni, who was suspended for this match, so Michael Rabusic was given his Serie A debut with Bosko Jankovic and Juan Iturbe. Bologna were only one point clear of the relegation zone, but travelled without Michele Pazienza, Robert Acquafresca and Francesco Della Rocca.
There is a very intense rivalry between these clubs and there were already reports of scuffles between supporters several hours before kick-off.
Verona had just one point from the last three home games, so were eager to get back on track. It was Bologna who had the first chance when Rolando Bianchi’s screamer stung Rafael’s gloves for a corner.
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos tested the goalkeeper from 30 metres, while Rabusic and Jankovic headers failed to trouble Gianluca Curci.
Panagiotis Kone skimmed the base of the post with a fine volley off the outside of his right boot, then Romulo’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal. The visitors lost Kone to a groin injury after just 34 minutes.
The referee pointed to the spot straight after the restart when Christodoulopoulos was hauled back by the jersey by Fabrizio Cacciatore, but Bianchi stepped up and saw his penalty saved by Rafael at the near post.
An Iturbe curler was off target and Ibson was at full stretch to poke Cristaldo’s cross inches past the upright.
Curci flew across the face of goal for a desperate fingertip save on Romulo’s dipping scorcher from over 20 metres.
Bologna went down to 10 men in the final stages after Jonathan Cristaldo received two yellow cards in 60 seconds. The first was for a shove in the face on Evangelis Moras, which could’ve been a red on its own, followed straight away by another pointless brawl.
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Saved penalty: Bianchi 47 (B)
Sent off: Cristaldo 82 (B)