Marco Di Vaio and Sergio Floccari had the best scoring opportunities, but the Emilia-Romagna derby ended goalless.
Roberto Donadoni made a splendid debut on the Ducali bench last week and hoped to maintain the momentum against their local rivals. Antonio Mirante and Graziano Pelle were injured in the 3-4-3 system, though Daniele Galloppa returned from a ban. Bologna missed Panagiotis Kone, Simone Loria, Nico Pulzetti and the suspended duo Nicolo Cherubin and Archimede Morleo.
Alessandro Lucarelli stood up strong to stop Marco Di Vaio getting his shot away from 10 yards, while Sebastian Giovinco’s angled drive was smothered.
The first huge chance was on 28 minutes, as Gaston Ramirez crossed from the left for Di Vaio’s glancing header, forcing a great reaction save from Nicola Pavarini. The veteran did well to get in front of Lucarelli at the near post.
Sergio Floccari’s counter resulted in a tame strike off target, while Di Vaio went down in the box in a tussle with Gabriel Paletta as he got on the end of a chipped Ramirez pass, but the referee was right to wave play on.
Just before the break a corner came back to Gaby Mudingayi and his fierce strike stung Pavarini’s palms from close range.
The start of the second half was delayed by a few minutes, as Parma midfielder Stefano Morrone received a phone call that his son had been taken ill, so was given permission to immediately leave the stadium.
Gabriele Musacci came on for the second half and was booked within a minute for his clumsy foul on Di Vaio. From the free kick, Andrea Raggi fired across the face of goal.
That was to set the template for this period of the game, as the referee was kept busy with numerous fouls and bookings in an increasingly physical clash.
Jean-Francois Gillet was called into his first save of the match when acrobatically fingertipping a deflected Floccari header on to the crossbar, then managed to grab hold of the follow-up as players dived in.
Henry Gimenez came off the bench and almost scored within a minute, but couldn’t quite get the final touch on a wayward Raggi snapshot.
Gimenez also knocked down a cross for Di Vaio to blast over from a very promising position.