Bologna deliver fatal blow to Inter’s already beyond-slim title hopes

Bologna ensured that Napoli's lead at the top of the Serie A table extended to 18 points as they beat Inter on Sunday, and the Rossoblu are starting to have big dreams of their own.

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STADIO RENATO DALL’ARA (Bologna): When Napoli go on to lift the Serie A title at the end of the 2022/23 season, they’ll have Bologna to thank as part of the short list of external factors that they are grateful for. The Rossoblu allowed the Partenopei’s lead at the top of the Serie A table to stay at 18 points as they beat Inter on Matchday 24.

The trip to Emilia-Romagna was never likely to be an easy one for Inter. Bologna have been playing well enough under Thiago Motta to suggest that they’re more than just an in-form side, but a good one. And so they showed the Nerazzurri from the off.

Although the Dall’Ara wasn’t as full as it might otherwise have been, with weather warnings in the region likely keeping some at home, the atmosphere wasn’t lacking and the Rossoblu were buoyed by that. Just 12 minutes in they looked to have taken the lead through Musa Barrow and the place erupted. Those celebrations proved to be short lived though as VAR intervened and Nicolas Dominguez was deemed to have interfered with Andre Onana’s line of sight from an offside position.

Bologna kept coming. Andrea Cambiaso forced Onana into a save that cleared the box, and Roberto Soriano followed up to rattle a rebound off the crossbar from the corner of the area. Thiago Motta’s side were knocking, and Inter’s goal was living a charmed life.

Inter improved, but Bologna’s threat remained

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had the visitors’ first opening but blazed over once he got to the edge of the area, Lautaro Martinez headed wide on the end of a Robin Gosens cross, but Riccardo Orsolini fired wayward at the other end after cutting in from the right to send Inter a warning that the hosts were sill here to spring a surprise.

Simone Inzaghi’s side looked better in the second half and they should have been put in front by Hakan Calhanoglu. Gosens cleverly beat Lukasz Skorupski and pulled it back for the midfielder, but he fired over in front of a near-open goal. Romelu Lukaku and then Edin Dzeko both had shots saved by the Bologna goalkeeper.

Those missed opportunities became regrets when Bologna broke with a clinical counterattack. Jerdy Schouten put Orsolini through the middle and he raced at Onana before finished emphatically from the edge of the area. This time there was no doubt that the goal would stand, and safe in that knowledge he set off behind the goal to celebrate beneath the curva.

The goal came in the 76th minute, but despite their being 21 minutes of play following it with stoppage time included, Inter never really looked likely to be able to get their way back on terms, nermind with a chance of taking all three points to Milan.

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