A Lazaros Christodoulopoulos penalty gave Bologna a potentially decisive push up the standings, beating an irritable Cagliari side.
Both teams were struggling recently and the hosts were in a considerably worse position, especially with a fan protest against the club this weekend after it was made official they are looking for new buyers. Rene Krhin sat out a ban with Panagiotis Kone and Francesco Della Rocca injured, while Cagliari had Daniele Conti and Francesco Pisano suspended with Adryan sidelined.
Bologna earned a shock 3-0 win in Sardinia earlier this season, one of only two away victories.
Victor Ibarbo drilled just past the near post after one of his trademark rapid runs and Danilo Avelar’s long-range shot was charged down.
Marco Sau’s shot was charged down, but the ball broke to Gabriele Perico who forced a great reaction save from Gianluca Curci.
Albin Ekdal ballooned over from a very promising position when set up by Ibarbo and the Colombian was hauled back by Nicolo Cherubin for a well-earned booking.
Just before the break, Vlada Avramov had to be alert when a wayward Lazaros Christodoulopoulos cross turned into a shot on target.
Ibarbo went on the counter from a Bologna corner and passed to Matias Vecino, whose shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
Gyorgy Garics couldn’t keep his shot down from the edge of the box, then Avramov got down well to turn a Christodoulopoulos daisy-cutter round the base of the near post with one hand.
Bologna were awarded a penalty when Dessena was judged to have pushed Lazaros Christodoulopoulos. He got back up and coolly converted the spot-kick for his second goal of the season.
Cagliari poured forward in search of an equaliser, but Ibarbo fired straight at the goalkeeper and Dessena saw red in stoppages.
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Sent off: Dessena 95 (C)