Inter Milan suffered a major blow in the Scudetto race after losing 2-1 away at Bologna.
Inter started the game relentlessly and scored their earliest league goal of the season through Ivan Perisic, with the Croatian netting in phenomenal fashion.
Deployed in a left-wing back role, he found himself collecting the ball from a throw-in on the opposite flank, twizzled in between two Bologna players, nutmegged a third, and unleashed a deadly strike from the edge of the box to give Inter the lead.
The visitors created a string of chances in the opening 20 minutes, but Bologna had goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski to thank, who pulled off some good saves to keep the deficit down to one.
Out of almost nothing, Bologna pulled the scores level through a Marco Arnautovic header. He made the most of some absent Inter Milan defending, guiding Musa Barrows deep cross beyond Ionut Radu.
The second half was an entertaining end-to-end affair and with 20 minutes remaining, was all level. Bologna continued to defend for their lives as the clock ticked down.
In what will surely go down as an iconic blunder, Radu – who was making his first league start this season in the Inter goal – fluffed a pass back which allowed Nicola Sansone to tap home into an empty net.
Inter threatened the Bologna goal in the final few minutes, but Bologna managed to see the game out.
TALKING POINT – RADU BLUNDER COULD COST INTER THE SCUDETTO
In the absence of Samir Handanovic, Radu was making his first league start of the Serie A campaign, and made a huge error that allowed Bologna to take the lead when it was Inter who really needed a goal. He had hardly anything to do in the second half, and in catastrophic fashion fluffed his lines at the pivotal moment when Nicola Sansone was chasing down a back pass.
He can’t be solely blamed for the defeat though. It was far from a convincing display at the back from the Nerazzurri back line, who were collectively beaten far too easily for Arnautovic’s equaliser. However, it is a blunder that could cost Inter the Serie A title, after missing the chance to go top with four games to go. It’s in rivals AC Milan’s hands now.
MAN OF THE MATCH – LUKASZ SKORUPSKI (BOLOGNA)
We have to mention the entire Bologna defence, who were brilliant throughout the entirety of the game. Even when Inter were relentlessly dominating the opening 20 minutes, they were only beaten very early on by that Perisic wonder strike. But one player deserves the man of the match title tonight and that’s the opposite goalkeeper, Lukasz Skorupski.
There’s too many vital saves he made tonight to mention, but he continuously beat away Inter Milan strikes from all angles, showing great bravery to keep the deficit down to one. Without Skorupski, Inter could have been home and dry by the half-hour mark.
BOLOGNA: Skorupski 9, Soumaoro 8, Medel 8, Theate 8, De Silvestri 7, Svanberg 7, Schouten 7, Soriano 7, Hickey 6, Barrow 7, Arnautovic 8
Subs: Sansone 7, Aebischer 6, Orsolini N/A, Dominguez 6
INTER MILAN: Radu 4, Skriniar 7, De Vrij 5, Dimarco 6, Dumfries 7, Barella 6, Brozovic 6, Calhanoglu 7, Perisic 8, Lautaro 7, Correa 5
Subs: Dzeko 6, Sanchez 6, D’Ambrosio 5, Gagliardini N/A, Darmian N/A
3’ – GOAL! BOLOGNA 0-1 INTER (PERISIC): That didn’t take long, and what a finish! Perisic makes a run from the left-hand side to the right to pick up the ball from a throw-in, makes room for himself just outside the box and lashes a strike beyond Skorupski.
28’ – GOAL! BOLOGNA 1-1 INTER (ARNAUTOVIC): We’re back on level terms, and Inzaghi will be raging with the defending! Barrow swings in a ball from deep and Arnautovic rises highest, surrounded by three Inter players, to guide the ball beyond Radu.
82’ – GOAL! BOLOGNA 2-1 INTER (SANSONE): Inter fans, look away now. That is a nightmare for the goalkeeper, and will go down as an iconic blunder. The ball is passed back to Radu, who only has to pass it back out, but misses the ball and Sansone – who has just come on – chases it down to tap in.