FULL TIME: Roma 1 – 3 Bologna

Bologna consolidated fourth place and doomed Daniele De Rossi to his second Serie A defeat at Roma, including spectacular Oussama El Azzouzi and Alexis Saelemaekers goals.

This was a head-to-head for fourth place with four points separating the teams and the Giallorossi yet to complete the suspended game with Udinese. That was due to Evan Ndicka’s health scare, so he was out along with Romelu Lukaku, plus Sardar Azmoun not at 100 per cent, so Tammy Abraham got his first start since June just days after the Europa League quarter-final with Milan.

The Rossoblu were coming off back-to-back draws with Frosinone and Monza, but Lewis Ferguson, Adama Soumaoro and Jens Odgaard didn’t make the trip. Alexis Saelemaekers returned from suspension.

Leandro Paredes tried to get Joshua Zirkzee into trouble by clutching his face in the opening minutes after a tussle, but the referee booked them both and the Roma midfielder will be suspended against Napoli.

Stephan El Shaarawy ballooned over from a Paulo Dybala pull-back, but it was Bologna who took the lead when Riccardo Calafiori’s cross from the left was met by an acrobatic Oussama El Azzouzi bicycle kick from 11 yards. His celebrations caused further tension with the home players.

Paredes should’ve equalised when robbing Jhon Lucumi just outside the box, but after sending a defender to ground, he drilled wide of the far post, while Dybala’s acrobatic attempt was over from a corner.

Alexis Saelemaekers saw his ferocious free kick smack against the crossbar on 41 minutes, but it was only a warning, as Bologna doubled their lead after a long period of possession.

Zirkzee got down the left and shot from a tight angle, Mile Svilar got one glove to it, but the ball crossed the line before the Angelino clearance or Dan Ndoye could get a final touch.

After the restart, El Shaarawy thought he had got one back with a rocket from the edge of the area following a corner, but it was cleared off line by Stefan Posch’s face.

Paredes also stung Lukasz Skorupski’s gloves from distance moments later and Roma did get on target when a corner came to Lorenzo Pellegrini and Azmoun required three attempts to score, the header and initial rebound both saved by Skorupski from point-blank range.

However, just as they were pushing to equalise, Bologna scored a fantastic second on the counter. Dybala slipped and Zirkzee’s first-time pass was perfectly weighted to send Saelemaekers clear on goal, beating Svilar with a delicate lob.

Zirkzee went off with a muscular issue, while Tommaso Baldanzi had a strike charged down in the box and Cristante nodded a corner wide, as they refused to give in.

Azmoun’s chest and volley tested Skorupski at the near post and Pellegrini shinned the rebound over.

Julio Castro had the ball in the net, but only after his assist man had been flagged offside.

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