Bologna vs. Napoli: Final score 2-2, Bianchi brace ensures Bologna point

Pier Marco Tacca

Rolando Bianchi rescued a point for struggling Bologna in the dying moments of their clash with Napoli.

A dramatic stoppage time equaliser from striker Rolando Bianchi ensured relegation strugglers Bologna picked up a crucial point at home to Napoli. The hosts took the lead in the first half only to go behind in the second, though some poor set-piece defending ensured they rescued a draw in the dying moments of the match.

Napoli may have seen more of the ball in the opening exchanges, though never looked wholly convincing. They were ponderous and struggled to find space amid the disciplined marking of the Bologna back five. The hosts managed to counter with regularity, and should've taken the lead through Rolando Bianchi just past the half-hour, though his looping header went narrowly wide.

That opening chance of the game should've served as a warning for the visitors, though they made the same mistakes on an almost identical move five minutes later. This time, they weren't so lucky. Alessandro Diamanti's fantastic deep cross was glanced inside the far post by an unmarked Bianchi, with neither of the partenopei centre-backs tight enough to the big striker.

It was a deserved advantage, though one which was very nearly wiped out on the stroke of halftime. A simple long ball over the top from Anthony Réveillère was flicked on by José Callejón, who had made a darting run behind the Bologna defence. His header looped narrowly over the top of Gianluca Curci's bar, meaning Napoli failed to record a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.

Howeve, they came out with renewed vigour after the restart, and created their first clear-cut chance just short of the hour. Callejón whipped an excellent ball in from the right, though from point-blank range Gonzalo Higuaín managed to somehow miss the target. As it turned out, it didn't really matter.

That's because Panagiotis Kone clumsily bundled Blerim Džemaili over in the Bologna penalty area just moments later, with the referee subsequently blowing for a Napoli spot-kick. Their second half pressure had told. Higuaín stepped up to convert in style, and the momentum very much swung in the partenopei's favour.

The conditions at the Renato dall'Ara gradually worsened and the pitched more waterlogged, aiding Bologna as they resisted the Napoli siege. Sadly, it was all in vain. With just over ten minutes left, substitute Marek Hamšík played a great through-ball for winger Callejón, who was left to finish the chance from close-range.

Any hope Bologna had of a dramatic late equaliser seemed to be dashed with just over five minutes left, when their midfielder Kone was ejected for a second bookable offence. However, they had other ideas.

A stoppage time corner came straight to an unmarked Bianchi at the back post, who prodded the ball past Rafael for 2-2. This time, Napoli had no response, and were made to settle for just a point. A dramatic end to an entertaining game in Emilia.

Bologna: Curci; Cherubin (Mantovani 73'), Natali, Antonsson; Morleo (Acquafresca 82'), Pazienza, Pérez (Christodoulopoulos 78'), Kone, Garics; Diamanti; Bianchi.

Goals: Bianchi (37', 90+1').

Red cards: Kone (84').

Napoli: Rafael; Réveillère, Albiol, Fernández, Maggio; Džemaili, Inler; Mertens (Insigne 78'), Pandev (Hamšík 57'), Callejón; Higuaín.

Goals: Higuaín (pen. 62'), Callejón (80').

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