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0 vs 1
February 22, 2014 7:45 PM GMT
Stadio Renato Dall'Ara — Bologna
Referee:‬ D. Massa‎
Attendance:‬ 22755‎
Full-time at the Dell'Ara! You've got to feel for Bologna, who thrice went nail-bitingly close to equalising in the final 20 minutes, but they just could not grab the equaliser to Nainggolan's opener in the first half. It finished Bologna 0-1 Roma!
90′ +3
OH MY! In the final moment of the match, Lazaros somehow headers wide inside the six-yard box while unmarked from a fine Moscardelli cross. He lies with his head in the ground as he knows how superb a chance that was.
How much stoppage-time? Three minutes.
On the counterattack, Michel Bastos thumps it just over after sprinting into the box down the right flank.
CHANCE! The amazingly bearded Davide Moscardelli heads forwards to fellow substitute Ibson for a fine goalscoring chance but De Sanctis is quick off his line to block the sliding Bologna body. The referee actually decides in hindsight that Ibson fouled De Sanctis (he really didn't) so I guess if he'd scored it wouldn't have counted anyway.
Ljajic with some sexy, jinking skills 25 yards from goal. They don't get him past the last man, but the Giallorossi's pressing concern isn't a second goal right now.
Yellow Card Radja Nainggolan
Nainggolan is booked for whacking away the ball after conceding a foul. A silly reaction, but that yellow card won't bother him at all if the visitors win this thanks to his goal.
The Giallorossi don't seem to concerned by the hosts' pressure as we enter the final stages of the match. Perhaps they should be...
Substitution Cesare Natali Davide Moscardelli
Ljajic squares for Taddei inside the area as the Giallorossi try to pick up the pace of their attack, but he passes straight at Curci. The visitors press again and Gervinho has the ball in the back of the net, but he was offside.
Substitution Mattia Destro Michel Fernandes Bastos
SO CLOSE TO AN EQUALISER! Substitute Andrea Mantovani rises highest from a Bologna corner and heads inches wide of the right post, leaving De Sanctis rooted to the spot helpless.
Gervinho tries to counterattack solo, but he's forced towards the corner flag by Antonsson. He does the smart thing and passes it back to midfield start the process again.
Mikael Antonsson gets forwards in an attempt to help Bologna score but his cross loops over the crossbar and his team-mates (and home supporters) sigh in unison.
A corner for the hosts causes mild danger alerts, but the visitors see off the threat to win a goal kick.
Yellow Card Ibson
The home crowd are doing their best at the Dell'Ara to inspire their team. Can Rossoblu shake the cobwebs to snatch something? Anything? At the moment they're still toothless.
Substitution Nicolò Cherubin Andrea Mantovani
Substitution Miralem Pjanic Kevin Strootman
In fairness to the Rossoblu, they've found a foothold in the match and seeing if they can use it to grab an equaliser. Perhaps all hope for them is not lost.
Bianchi draws the home fans' ire with a fancy flicked-pass which flies off the pitch aimlessly. Not a wise choice at 1-0 down, really.
Substitution Gyorgy Garics Ibson
Lazaros Christodoulopoulos wins a corner for the hosts with an ambitious effort from 25 yards which deflects wide.
Romagnoli's down and the Rossoblu are protesting against the referee's decision, as they still had the ball in the final third. As always with whining at the referee, though, it is to no avail. Why do players even bother?!
Substitution Alessandro Florenzi Adem Ljajic
Substitute Adem Ljajic seeing plenty of the ball already inside the box, but cannot get his shot away.
Almost a beauty from Destro as he lobs over Curci from a tight angle when put through on goal without a marker, but the referee ruins his moment by correctly calling for offside.
So far, no chances. Both sides taking their time to ease back in after the break.
We're back underway at the Dell'Ara! Will we see an improved Bologna? Or will Roma just strengthen their grip on the game?
And that's half-time! Roma were the dominant team in the opening 45 minutes and arguably deserve to be in an even greater lead at the Dell'Ara. But Bologna remain hanging on in this fixture thanks to the visitors profligacy, though Radja Nainggolan's goal has yet to inspire any sort of comeback from the hosts.
45′ +1
Yellow Card Alessio Romagnoli
45′ +1
Roma youngster Alessio Romagnoli gets a yellow card for careless tackling.
45′ +1
A massive one minute of added time to be played.
Roma have apparently had six attacking plays compared to Bologna's two, according to stats that have flashed up in front of me. In reality, though, it's been much more in favour of the visitors attacking-wise.
Daniele De Rossi, who's largely stayed away from the box by pulling the strings from deep in midfield, lashes miles over from 20 yards. He'll be wishing he stayed further back based on that effort!
Good stuff, the hosts are pressing more! We might have a match rather than a walkover on our hands...
Hopefully this sparks the hosts' lifeless midfield into action.
Assist Miralem Pjanic
Goal Radja Nainggolan
GOAL!! He might have been useless earlier at finishing, but Nainggolan could not miss this. Gervinho does some fine build-up, Pjanic lofts in a gorgeous half-cross towards the back post from inside the box and the on-running January signing opens the scoring with his first goal for the Giallorossi! Bologna 0-1 Roma!
Nothing comes from the Bologna free kick - at least not for the hosts. Roma take their turn at counterattacking with Gervinho, but the Ivorian is intercepted as he tries to writhe his way past at least three Rossoblu bodies on the edge of the box.
Benatia rightly booked for ploughing into Morleo unnecessarily on his own team's byline.
Yellow Card Mehdi Benatia
Ballardini's tactic board must have just said: 'Sit back and hoof it up for the counterattack when you feel like it'.
The home crowd are throwing toys out of their proverbial prams as the referee blows for Cristaldo leaning into Benatia then sprinting for the loose ball 35 yards from goal. It was the correct call, though.
Bologna letting Roma pass it around in the middle third as Garcia's men try a change in tempo.
A third of the game gone and the Rossoblu are holding their own thanks to the visitors' profligacy, mainly. They've only had one real chance and it was a two-second counterattack. They need to up their game if they want to fight for a point or more without relying on Roma to fluff their chances.
Just watching replays of Destro's post-striking chance and it really was a close call. If his shot had been half-an-inch more inside the post it definitely would have gone in. Fine margins!
Curci will lap up these rubbish long shots all day long! Bologna boss Ballardini will be worried that eventually one of this attempts will rustle his side's net.
Alessandro Florenzi takes his turn at skewering high and wide, this time Roma's missed shot is from an absurdly acute angle.
Gervinho really is a totally different player this season, he's just mesmerising on the ball when in full flow. His work on the left ends with the ball skidding over to the right-half of the box, where Nainggolan once again makes his best effort to show he left his shooting boots at home with a skewed strike wide.
One of the closest misses we're going to see this game is followed swiftly by one of the worst shots. Nainggolan, 15 yards from Bologna's goal, somehow spoons his shot out for a throw-in on the left!
HUGE CHANCE! Gervinho lays the ball off for Roma team-mate Destro on the edge of the box and the striker curls it on to the right post, then watches as the ball agonisingly skids sideways past the other post and out for a goal kick. Ex-Giallorossi goalkeeper Gianluca Curci had no chance at saving that.
Miralem Pjanic steps up for Roma 40 yards from goal with a free kick, but the Bosnian midfielder blasts it a few feet wide with a whimper-of-sorts. I've seen him put away strikes like that before, but it wasn't to be this time!
...the free kick clips off the first line of defence, Destro, towards the inside of the near post but De Sanctis is well positioned to fall down and smother the danger.
The free kick takes a while to be kicked as the referee jumps in on some rough jostling inside the 18-yard box...
Taddei charges like a bull let loose into Morleo down Bologna's left flank and the referee rightly whistles for a foul.
Mattia Destro is the latest attacker through on goal, but - like Gervinho not so long ago - he is offside.
My, my, my, what a goal that would have been! Bologna counterattack with a long ball forward and Rolando Bianchi controls magnificently before trying to lob off-his-line Morgan De Sanctis, but the goalkeeper leaps backwards and holds on to the ball.
And what a rubbish corner it was! Goal kick to the Giallorossi.
Jonathan Cristaldo gets some space on the right but his waist-height cross is half-cleared by Roma. The Rossoblu press again and win a corner.
Gervinho is slotted through 20 yards from goal behind Bologna's defence but the whistle is blown for offside to bring an end to the visitors' chance.
The home fans are making a cacophony of noise, which is all the more impressive as they've really had zilch to shout about yet.
Roma right-back Rodrigo Taddei brings down Bologna's Archimede Morleo on the flank, but the Rossoblu cannot create anything from the distanced free kick.
And we're off at the Dell'Ara! Roma, in white, start the proceedings (a little later than anticipated).
The handshakes have been made and we're seconds away from kick-off. Flares galore here in Bologna from both sets of fans, it seems.
Only a couple of minutes until kick-off! Roma - who have a game in hand on leaders Juventus - can close Serie A's leaders to six points with a victory. Lose and they remain just four points clear of third-placed Napoli. The hosts are just two points clear of the relegation zone and will want at least a draw against the Giallorossi this evening.
Davide Ballardini's men were unlucky to be beaten by a late Mario Balotelli wonderstrike last weekend at San Siro, but will take heart from defeating Torino away from home to week before. Can they cause an upset on home turf at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara tonight?
For Rudi Garcia's visitors, the likes of Francesco Totti, Dodo, Federico Balzaretti and Maicon remain out of action with injury, while Kevin Strootman is rested to give Nainggolan some game-time.
Roma XI: De Sanctis; Taddei, Benatia, Castan, Romagnoli; Pjanic, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Florenzi, Destro, Gervinho.
Bologna XI: Curci; Antonsson, Natali, Cherubin; Garics, Kone, Krhin, Christodoulopoulos, Morleo; Bianchi, Cristaldo.
Firstly, let's look through the line-ups, shall we?
Welcome to Goal's LIVE coverage of Bologna vs Roma! I, Miles Chambers, will be bringing you all the pre-match ahead of the 20:45CET kick-off, with all of the key details during the game too.
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
15 0