Inter Milan vs. Bologna: Final score 2-2, struggling Emilians battle to thrilling draw

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press

In one of the most exciting games of the Serie A season, relegation strugglers Bologna held Inter Milan to a draw at the San Siro.

Bologna picked up a potentially crucial point away at Inter Milan on Saturday, as their fight against Serie A relegation was given a big boost. Inter twice took the lead through Mauro Icardi, though they were pegged back on both occasions and denied a late winner by Diego Milito's penalty miss.

Despite Inter managing to take an early lead when Icardi half-volleyed Yuto Nagatomo's cross into Gianluca Curci's goal, they quickly lost their grip on the game. The relegation-struggling visitors largely restricted them to tame efforts from distance, and went close twice on set pieces before drawing level. Few could argue they were undeserving of their equaliser 10 minutes before halftime.

The levelling goal came from an unlikely source, with midfielder Michele Pazienza arriving into the box at just the right moment, driving a rebound off Lazaros Christodoulopoulos' close-range effort past a helpless Samir Handanović and into the back of the net. With Curci diving to stop Inter's Esteban Cambiasso moments later, it was a lead the Emilians held to the whistle.

Inter came out at the restart looking fired up, and went close to going ahead after Handanović kept out Rene Krhin's early, long-range attempt. For the first time, the hosts managed to pin the struggling visitors back in their own half, though that didn't stop Bologna looking threatening on the counter.

György Garics squandered a great chance to give Bologna the lead after being threaded through on a raking crossfield pass by the impressive Lazaros, and was made to pay the price within a couple of minutes. A moment of magic saw Icardi curl the ball off the inside of the post and into the back of the net, with the rossoblù's hard work all undone.

However, they never gave up, and a deep cross from the left was allowed to bounce in the Inter box courtesy of some slack defending. Panagiotis Kone was on hand to pounce on the loose ball, prodding it past Handanović with just over 15 minutes still to play. Inside the final 10, there was a final twist to the tale.

The referee adjudged a foul to have been committed in the area on Rodrigo Palacio, with substitute Milito stepping up to take the ensuing spotkick. But rather than bury it in the bottom corner, the Argentine's penalty was palmed away by Curci, with the Bologna keeper guaranteeing a potentially decisive point for his side. They would've picked up all three, if not for a miraculous Handanović stop in the final minute of stoppage time on Robert Acquafresca.

Inter Milan: Handanović; Juan Jesus (Samuel 28'), Ranocchia, Rolando; Nagatomo, Hernanes, Álvarez, Cambiasso (Miliito 79'), D'Ambrosio (Kovačić 53'); Icardi, Palacio.

Goals: Icardi (6', 63').

Bologna: Curci; Mantovani, Natali, Antonsson; Čech (Morleo 60'), Pazienza, Christodoulopoulos, Krhin (Acquafresca 71'), Garics; Kone (Pérez 88'); Cristaldo.

Goals: Pazienza (35'), Kone (73').

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