Bologna vs. Inter Milan, final score 1-1: Bologna frustrate Inter for a valuable point

Claudio Villa

Walter Mazzarri's Inter were left to rue a disappointing first half as they drew with Bologna. A vast improvement in the second period couldn't provide them with all the points and the home side will be a lot happier with the result.

After losing 2-1 to Atalanta prior to the international break, Stefano Pioli felt the need to make two changes to his Bologna side, Diego Perez returning from suspension to take compatriot Diego Laxalt's place whilst Jose Crespo dropped out for Cesare Natali in a reshuffle that saw Gyorgy Garics move back to a more familiar wing-back position. Walter Mazzarri also made two changes, the suspended Andrea Ranocchia and the injured Walter Samuel dropping out for Juan Jesus and Hugo Campagnaro at the back.

The opening exchanges saw both sides probing but it was Bologna who took an unlikely lead on the counter attack. Alessandro Diamanti broke forward and was fouled by Saphir Taïder, however Jonathan Cristaldo was able to take the ball over and with the Inter defence in disarray, he was able to square for Panagiotis Kone, who had ghosted in behind the defence and was left with an easy finish past a helpless Samir Handanović.

Just a minute later and Inter had a good opportunity of their own as Rodrigo Palacio's deft touch took him away from two Bologna players, however Gianluca Curci was out quickly to smother his low shot and Rene Krhin was able to recover the ball out of play.

A goal to the good, Bologna seemed content to sit back and allow Inter to come on to them, however Bologna were still able to threaten on the counter, with the Nerazzurri's back three clearly switching off and Kone and Diamanti causing problems with their pace and dynamism however every time it looked as if an opportunity might present itself, either Handanović was on hand to deny them or a defender scrambled back in time.

Inter managed to carve out a couple of good opportunities before half time, Jonathan digging out a cross in between Archimede Morleo and Krhin and Rodrigo Palacio putting his free header wide when he really should've done better.

Soon after and Inter had perhaps their best chance of the first half. Taïder was played in down the right by Ricky Álvarez and his low cross was met by substitute Álvaro Pereira, however the Uruguayan's effort was from a tight angle and went wide, and Inter couldn't bundle the ball into the net in the ensuing pinball.

On the stroke of half time, Inter came yet closer to equalising as a powerful Fredy Guarín free kick was deflected on to the top of the crossbar with a sprawling Curci well beaten.

Five minutes after half time and Inter were level as Jonathan Cicero, outstanding so far this season, drove into the penalty area and let off a low shot. Curci appeared to have it covered but Fredrik Sørensen stuck out a foot to block it but deflected it past the stricken goalkeeper for an unlucky goal to concede.

Inter were vastly improved in the second half as they pushed and probed but clear chances were still in short supply. Fredy Guarín had a golden opportunity to put his side ahead after Jonathan crossed low from the right but he scooped the ball just over the bar from ten yards when he really should've hit the target.

In the closing stages, Inter were afforded two good opportunities from corner kicks, Rolando's powerful header being denied by the outstanding Curci before Juan Jesus hit a powerful volley from the resulting set piece which cannoned off the top of the crossbar.

The points were shared in the end and the under-pressure Pioli will be happy with the result which closes Bologna up to the tightly-packed mid-table group, whilst Inter go a point closer to Napoli above them after they lost to Parma on Saturday night.

Bologna: Curci; Sørensen, Natali, Antonsson; Garics (Crespo 68), Pérez (Pazienza 76), Krhin, Morleo; Kone, Diamanti; Cristaldo (Bianchi 46)

Goals: Kone 12

Inter: Handanović; Campagnaro (Belfodil 85), Rolando, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Taïder (Kovačić 56), Guarín, Cambiasso, Nagatomo (Pereira 24); Álvarez; Palacio

Goals: Jonathan 50

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