Mauro Icardi gave 10-man Inter a much-needed victory away to ineffective Bologna, but Felipe Melo and Roberto Mancini saw red.
The Nerazzurri were hoping to end their four-round negative streak, including three consecutive draws, while the Rossoblu put a stop to four straight defeats with a last-gasp 2-1 victory away to Carpi at the weekend. Andrea Ranocchia stepped in for suspended Jeison Murillo, while Stevan Jovetic and Gary Medel were rested. Bologna dropped misfiring striker Mattia Destro – who was reportedly furious at that decision – while Marios Oikonomou and Antonio Mirante were injured.
Inter hadn’t beaten Bologna, home or away, in three meetings, managing only two stalemates. After just four minutes Amadou Diawara’s long ball was just beyond Anthony Mounier at full stretch after the offside trap failed. Matteo Mancosu was in a similar position and Samir Handanovic had to rush out to smother at his feet.
Inter’s first real chance came on 28 minutes, am Adem Ljajic set play finding Ivan Perisic only for the free header to go well wide from seven yards.
Bologna had the better of the first half and Juan Jesus was crucial to stop Mounier turning in a Mancosu low cross from the left. Davide Santon had to charge down Alex Ferrari following a surprising slalom to the edge of the box from the full-back, while Mauro Icardi almost pounced on a deflected cross at the near post and on the resulting corner Geoffrey Kondogbia drilled wide.
On the stroke of half-time, Ljajic’s free kick was on target, but easy pickings for Junior Da Costa. Remarkably, seven of Inter’s 10 Serie A games this season were goalless at the break.
Luca Rizzo and Brozovic had long-range efforts, while a Perisic pass flashed across the face of goal with nobody able to get the final touch. Felipe Melo was booked for a late challenge on Rizzo and will therefore be suspended against Roma.
The Nerazzurri finally had a chance when Icardi’s cross found Perisic in the middle after Ljajic fumbled, but Saphir Taider managed to clear practically off the line.
Moments later Inter went down to 10 men, as Melo received his second yellow card in quick succession, though it was harsh for his block after Rizzo nutmegged him. Roberto Mancini was livid and carried on his protests in referee Luca Rizzo’s face for some time.
After going down to 10 men, Inter actually took the lead thanks also to some suicidal defending from bottom of the table Bologna. Ferrari’s fresh-air clearance allowed a long Brozovic ball through to Ljajic, who rolled across for unmarked Icardi to side-foot into an empty net from 10 yards.
Inter’s confidence was boosted and Icardi’s volley was deflected at the near post, but Bologna remained completely ineffective. Mancini was sent off for dissent in the final minute.
Bologna should’ve equalised with almost the last kick of the game, but Handanovic performed a stunning one-handed save as Destro volleyed straight at him from point-blank range.
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Sent off: Felipe Melo 61 (I)