Bologna denied Inter of the chance to go equal on points with third placed Napoli after they played out to a 1-1 draw at the Renata Dell’Ara on Sunday evening.
Panagiotis Kone opened the scoring for Bologna as early as the 12th minute, only to see Jonathan cancel out the deficit with his second-half strike.
The encounter wasn’t only about the two teams fighting for their respective targets, but it also contained a personal dual between the two coaches.
Over the years Stefano Pioli had managed to procure the better bout of results over Walter Mazzarri and his team continued on in the fashion by stunning Inter with a goal in the 12th minute.
It was another well worked counter-attack by the Rossoblu which saw Jonathan Cristaldo supply a cross towards Panagiotis Kone. The striker cut inside and made a bursting run into the box before slotting the ball past Samir Handanovic.
Rodrigo Palacio almost replied with an immediate goal from Freddy Gaurin’s over-the-top ball, but Alessio Curci performed a brilliant save with his legs to deny the Argentine.
The Nerazzurri where then handed a blow after just 24 minutes, seeing Yuto Nagatomo limp off injured and replaced by Jonathan.
Guarin then tried his luck with a shot from range on the half hour; however, it went well high over the bar. While, just minutes later, Palacio’s header skimmed just over the goal frame.
Just before the break Inter squandered a double chance to find the equalizer through Alvaro Perreira and Saphir Taider. The former sent his strike, from just two yards out, across the face of goal, before the latter failed to tap it in at the near post, directing his effort towards the opposing team’s defender instead.
Alessandro Diamanti nearly made it 2-0 immediately after the restart with a curling free-kick that forced Handanovic to push it out at the near post. But it was Inter who capitalized on their chance with the Brazilian Jonathan smacking a diagonal ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net to make it 1-1.
Handanovic pulled off a miracle one handed save off Ronaldo Bianchi’s half-volley from range to keep the teams level as the full-time whistle approached.
Inter’s draw and Napoli’s 1-0 loss to Chievo on Saturday evening means the Beneamata sit two points off the Azzurri and the final UEFA Champions League spot.