Bologna blow Roma away to strengthen their grip on fourth spot in Serie A

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Bologna blow Roma away to strengthen their grip on fourth spot in Serie A

Oussama El Azzouzi of Bologna celebrates with his teammates after scoring the opening goal
Oussama El Azzouzi of Bologna celebrates with his teammates after scoring the opening goalAFP
Bologna produced a strong away performance to beat AS Roma 3-1 and complete a Serie A double over the Giallorossi for the first time since the 1966/67 season.

In a battle between two UEFA Champions League hopefuls, it was the hosts who carved out the first meaningful chance at the Stadio Olimpico.

Roma’s chief creator Paulo Dybala pulled the ball back towards Stephan El Shaarawy, who could only blaze his effort harmlessly over the bar. El Shaarway was made to rue his miss when Bologna took a 14th-minute lead courtesy of Oussama El Azzouzi’s acrobatic effort. 

The Moroccan produced a sensational overhead kick from Riccardo Calafiori’s lofted cross to send the ball in off the post.

Leandro Paredes looked set to produce an immediate response when he cut inside onto his left foot before curling wide of Lukasz Skorupski’s goal. After missing the chance to level, Roma were left with a mountain climb when Bologna produced a strong finish to the first period.

Just minutes after Alexis Saelemaekers had rattled the crossbar, Joshua Zirkzee managed to squeeze his left-foot strike over the line to give his side a precious two-goal lead at the break.

With Roma looking for a quick start to the second period, El Shaarawy would have been frustrated to see his goal-bound effort blocked on the line by Stefan Posch. Daniele De Rossi sprung into action, turning to his bench to introduce Rick Karsdorp, Sardar Azmoun and Leonardo Spinazzola.

It proved to be a positive move as Azmoun made a near-instant impact to tap the ball in after seeing his initial two efforts saved.

However, Roma’s renewed sense of belief was soon crushed by the composure of Alexis Saelemaekers, who raced through on goal before calmly lifting the ball over Mile Svilar.

Key match stats
Key match statsOpta by StatsPerform

Thiago Motta’s troops briefly thought they had added a fourth through Santiago Castro, who was denied by the offside flag.

The disallowed effort did little to dampen Bologna’s mood as they protected their two-goal lead to tighten their grip on fourth spot, leaving Roma seven points behind in fifth position.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Oussama El Azzouzi (Bologna)

See all the match stats here.

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