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An early goal from Marco Di Vaio from the penalty spot, and a second from Terzi completed a great win for relegation strugglers Bologna over Champions League hopefuls Genoa.

Bologna 2–0 Genoa

The Grifoni were determined to strengthen their grip on fourth place in this clash at relegation-strugglers Bologna. Before this encounter Gianpiero Gasperini's side had a two-point advantage over their nearest challengers Fiorentina and they were keen to preserve that, as well as make up for a 1-0 loss against Lazio in the last round.

Bologna headed into this weekend's encounter on the back of a 4-1 defeat at Palermo.  That result left Bologna one point from safety with six games left to play. They have won just once in their last 11 matches and went into the clash against Genoa on the back of five consecutive defeats.

First Half

The game got underway after a minute of silence dedicated to Franco Rotella, the ex-Genoa player who passed away during the week. Genoa were aggressive on the attack from the start, with their strikers playing from wide positions. It was Bologna however, that registered the first attacking effort, but Mutarelli’s shot went high of the target. The game was conditioned by heavy rain, making control of the ball more difficult than usual. Bologna continued to threaten, and in the fifth minute a header from Terzi skipped just over the bar.

In the 10th minute Mesto’s shot from long range found Milito in a good position, but his attempt went disappointingly wide of goal. In the 14th minute Bocchetti made a bad mistake at the back and gifted the home side with a penalty, which Di Vaio stepped up and converted for his 21st of the season to send Bologna into the lead. Genoa tried to retaliate immediately, but despite keeping good possession they were unable to create much upfront, with Milito wasting a header in the 21st minute from a Juric cross.

In the 22nd minute Di Vaio almost made it two for the home side with a fine effort, which slipped past the post. The home fans would not need to wait long to celebrate however, as Terzi made the most of a Adailton free kick to slot past Rubinho in the 25th minute, making it 2-0. In the 29th minute a Mesto cross was deflected into the path of Criscito, but with an open goal in front of him the Italian just could not reach the ball. In the 33rd minute Paladino wasted a great opportunity to cut the deficit, as a Mesto cross found him in the box, but his finish was lacking.

Mesto continued to be a thorn in Bologna’s side, as the play began to favour the visitors, desperate to put some goals on the score sheet and not stumble on their way to a Champions League qualification target. Genoa applied pressure on Bologna, and in the 42nd minute Palladino did well to push forward, but all he won for his troubles was a corner. After a minute of injury time the half ended with the score at 2-0.

Second Half

Genoa began the half with a few substitute arrivals hoping to shake the game up and bring the visitors back into it. In the 50th minute a spectacular free kick from Adailton required a great save from Rubinho to tip it out for a corner. A few minutes later it was Sculli in attack, as his header went just over the target. In the 55th minute Palladino was unfortunate when his shot hit the post after he had beaten Colombo.

Genoa struggled to play their usual game, with Bologna running and putting every player under pressure. In the 63rd minute of the game Di Vaio got on the end of a Mutarelli cross in front of goal, but his touch sent the ball agonizingly wide of the post. Genoa continued to struggle, pushing forward on the counter attack but finding little falling their way. In the 68th minute it seemed as though Genoa had a good chance on goal, but Thiago Motta’s fine ball to Milito was deemed offside.

A few minutes later Colombo did well to stop a dangerous Sculli cross that was deflected by Moras. Genoa had their fair share of corners as a result of their counter attacking pressure, but the Champions League hopefuls did not make the most of them. With time running out for the visiting side, Genoa were desperate to push for a few goals. In the 73rd minute a good attempt from Palladino was well stopped by Colombo in the Bologna goal.

Bologna continued to run and tackle, spurred on by their home fans, with Genoa failing to get forward and create space up front. In the 78th minute a Bologna counter attack almost finished Bologna off, as Zenoni chipped Rubinho but could not beat Juric on the goal line. Genoa came close to a goal in the 82nd minute after good work between Milito and Olivera, but Colombo cleared the danger. The last few minutes held little hope for the struggling Genoa side, and it ended 2-0 to Bologna, severly denting the visitors hopes of securing Champions League football next season.


GOALS: Di Vaio 15’, Terzi 25’ (Bologna)

BOLOGNA: Colombo, Zenoni, Terzi, Moras, Belleri (Castellini 85'), Mutarelli, Mudingayi, Mingazzini, Valiani, Adailton (Coelho 69’), Di Vaio (Marazzina 90').

GENOA: Rubinho, Biava, Ferrari (Olivera 76’), Bocchetti (Milanetto 46’), Mesto, Thiago, Juric, Criscito, Jankovic (Sculli 46’), Milito, Palladino.

Peter Pedroncelli,