Torino vs. Bologna: Final score 1-2, Cristaldo brace gives Bologna boost

Valerio Pennicino

Bologna were given a huge boost in their fight against relegation on Sunday, picking up a shock 2-1 win away at Torino.

Bologna caused a big upset in Serie A's lunchtime kickoff, seeing off high-flying Torino 2-1 in Turin. It was only their second win on the road all season, and sees them move provisionally four points clear of the relegation zone. Parma and Lazio could both overtake seventh-placed Toro with wins on Sunday afternoon.

We looked set for a match of Torino dominance when they took the lead after just five minutes; the on-form Ciro Immobile gifted the easiest header he'll ever score after Matteo Darmian's inch-perfect cross. However, fortunately it became clear Toro's defence is as just as unconvincing as Bologna's, and the visitors were level within six minutes.

Young wing-back Darmian has been one of Serie A's most underrated performers this season, but he didn't cover himself in glory when he gave the ball away on the edge of his own box. A desperate lunge at the ball from his teammate Nikola Maksimović was in vain, as ex-Torino striker Rolando Bianchi swept the ball across for Jonathan Cristaldo to tap in.

The game was frantic; both teams looking to play direct and on the counter-attack. Torino keeper Daniele Padelli did well to palm away Cristaldo's effort form the edge of the area after 20 minutes, though it was his error moments later which allowed Bologna to take an unlikely lead. Rene Krhin's low long-range strike wasn't gathered cleanly, and Cristaldo was on hand to complete a first-half brace.

Torino surged forward in search of a first-half equaliser, and were almost gifted one by Bologna keeper Gianluca Curci on the half-hour. His weak punch went straight to Kamil Glik on the edge of the box, though his effort cracked back off the post. There was still time for Immobile to flash a shot wide on the turn and Padelli to tip a powerful free-kick around the post before the referee finally brought a chaotic first half to a close.

Happily the second half started with as much punch as the first, and Torino should've been level after just five minutes. A cross from the left found Alessio Cerci in the box, though the forward's header rocketed back off the crossbar and the goalline. A vicious cross towards Curci's near post caused as many problems for the Bologna defence, though the goalkeeper's flailing legs just about kept the ball out.

Unsurprisingly Bologna spent much of the ensuing half camped inside their own half, as Giampiero Ventura threw on Marcelo Larrondo and swapped his 3-5-2 for a 3-4-3. However, the Emilians held firm and sucked the tempo out of the game; keeping the granata at bay to pick up what could prove to be a crucial three points in their fight against relegation.

Torino: Padelli; Moretti, Glik, Maksimović; Masiello, Farnerud (Larrondo 63'), Vives, El Kaddouri (Kurtić 46'), Darmian (Basha 46'); Immobile, Cerci.

Goals: Immobile (5').

Bologna: Curci; Mantovani, Natali (Cherubin 64'), Antonsson; Morleo, Krhin (Sørensen 78'), Christodoulopoulos, Pérez, Garics; Cristaldo; Bianchi (Ibson 87').

Goals: Cristaldo (11', 24').

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