Napoli vs Bologna, final score 2-3: Comeback upon comeback results in Bologna win

Giuseppe Bellini

Bologna held a 1-0 lead through to the second half, only to see Napoli take a 2-1 lead into the 85th minute. The rossoblu then gave Napoli a taste of their own medicine, scoring two in the final five minutes.

This match must have been an absolute thriller for neutrals. However, Napoli supporters will see it as yet another indication that the scudetto is likely out of reach for their club.

Oddly enough, the first Napoli chance came via the defense. The home side earned themselves a corner, and Miguel Britos got on the end of a cross from Lorenzo Insigne. The volley would have made for an excellent first goal, but the shot went just wide.

Instead it was Bologna that took the lead, much to the consternation of the home side. Still, the fault lay entirely with the Napoli defense, who stood around staring at the ball as if they weren't quite sure what this foreign object that had wandered on to the pitch was. Manolo Gabbiadini took advantage, getting on the end of a cross from Nicolò Cherubin to put Bologna ahead.

Edinson Cavani did his best to put Napoli level in the 19th minute, sending in a stunning free kick from about 25 yards out. Federico Agliardi was forced to push the ball away. Three minutes later, the keeper played the hero once again, rescuing teammate Daniele Portanova. The defender's slip put the ball straight into the path of Marek Hamsik, but Agliardi managed to snatch it away.

Then Bologna should have had a 2-0 lead, but the goal from Alberto Gilardino was judged to be offside. The visitors were right to be upset, as replays showed it looked as though Gila was onside.

Napoli just couldn't get anything out of the first half, although they certainly had plenty of opportunities. Hamsik had another fantastic opportunity in the 33rd minute, but Tiberio Guarente came rushing in to clear. In the 38th, Insigne tried his luck, but sent his shot straight at Agliardi.

In fact, it was Bologna that had the best chance before the break. Alessandro Diamanti saw his shot rescued by a leaping Morgan De Sanctis, keeping the score at just 1-0 going into the second half.

Bologna were ruing their missed opportunities -- and that goal not being given -- shortly after the restart. In the 50th minute, the visitors foolishly left Insigne unmarked on a throw in. The wee forward had plenty of space in which to send in his shot. Agliardi did well to push the ball away, but Alessandro Gamberini was there on the follow through, tapping in to score his first goal for Napoli.

The visitors very nearly took the lead less than sixty seconds later, off a sharp header from René Krhin. Fortunately for Napoli, Morgan De Sanctis managed to push the ball away.

Instead it was Napoli who took the lead, in the 70th minute. Insigne put in a perfect cross to where Cavani was lurking at the far post. Agliardi could do nothing to stop the towering sharp header that gave the partenopei their first lead of the game.

And the home side must have thought they'd had things all sewn up, having conveniently forgotten their moments of utter defensive disarray in the first half. But there was nothing Napoli could have done to stop Bologna's amazing equalizer -- a sideways scissor kick from Panagiotis Kone that had jaws dropping around the world.

But that wasn't enough for Bologna. To add insult to injury, the visitors had the temerity to go on and win. In the 89th minute, Portanova took advantage of yet another Napoli defensive slip. Diamanti sent in a cross and, with Cannavaro off in the clouds once again, Portanova headed in the winner.

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