AS Roma provisionally sliced Juventus' lead at the top of the Serie A table to six points on Saturday, as they picked up an unspectacular 1-0 win away at relegation-threatened Bologna. Radja Nainggolan's first half goal was all it took to beat the impotent Emilian hosts, who failed to convert their promising late possession into an equalising goal.
Nainggolan netted the game's only goal inside the closing 10 minutes of the opening half, though Roma were unfortunate to have not broken the deadlock earlier. Mattia Destro stroked the ball against the post from the edge of the area in the 18th minute, before Nainggolan squandered an opportunity to open his giallorossi account a few minutes earlier than he did.
Bologna's best chance had been an optimistic Rolando Bianchi chip in the opening 10 minutes, though Morgan De Sanctis comfortably caught the veteran's attempt. Otherwise, the Emilians scarcely had a sniff of goal. They did at least manage to soak up the Roma pressure rather well, until Miralem Pjanić's brilliant low cross was tapped in from point-blank range by Nainggolan shortly before the halftime whistle.
It was clear Davide Ballardini had set his side out to sit deep and try to snatch a goal on the counter-attack, but needing an equaliser in the second half, they looked a little more proactive. Unfortunately they lacked the invention to carve out many clear-cut chances, with substitute Andrea Mantovani nodding their best opportunity wide on a Panagiotis Kone corner.
Roma should've killed the game with just over 15 minutes left, though Rodrigo Taddei's effort from inside the box was kept out by the legs of former giallorossi keeper Gianluca Curci. It didn't matter; Rudi Garcia's side managed to hold out for an unspectacular win, keeping the scudetto race alive. They'll now be crossing their fingers for an upset in the Turin Derby on Sunday.
Bologna: Curci; Cherubin (Mantovani 62'), Natali (Moscardelli 78'), Antonsson; Morleo, Christodoulopoulos, Krhin, Kone, Garics (Ibson 57'); Cristaldo, Bianchi.
Roma: De Sanctis; Romagnoli, Castán, Benatia, Taddei; Pjanić (Strootman 61'), De Rossi, Nainggolan; Gervinho, Destro (Bastos 74'), Florenzi (Ljajić 53').
Goals: Nainggolan (37').