Bologna roll on with win at Lazio
Lazio missed a chance to close the gap on second-placed Juventus by falling 3-1 to in-form Bologna tonight.
The Roman outfit could have pulled to within one point of Juve, but had two men sent off. Daniele Portanova put Bologna ahead in the 11th minute before Alessandro Diamanti doubled their advantage before the half-hour mark.
Lazio's Francesco Matuzalem was shown a red card for catching Diamanti in the face before the interval. An own goal from Matteo Rubin in the 56th minute reduced the arrears to one, but the hosts had Alvaro Gonzalez sent off two minutes later. Rene Krhin restored the visitors' two-goal lead 15 minutes into the second half and Bologna remained unbeaten on the road this year.
Despite the loss, Lazio's first league defeat at the Stadio Olimpico since 16 November, the Biancoceleste held on to third place and the last UEFA Champions League qualifying position with Udinese suffering a 1-0 loss at Novara. Bologna, meanwhile, climbed up to ninth place.
The home side went into the game on the back of last weekend's 2-1 triumph over Roma, but they faced a determined Bologna team that had lost just once in their previous ten games. And the visitors went in front after Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti was unable to hold onto Robert Acquafresca's six-yard effort. Portanova was first to the rebound and lashed the ball into the back of the net.
Lazio almost equalised in the 26th minute, but Bologna goalkeeper Jean Francois Gillet saved Stefano Mauri's angled 12-yard effort with his foot. Bologna extended their lead two minutes later, though. Marchetti came off his line to clear a dangerous cross, but the ball fell to Diamanti and he smashed the ball from 30 yards into an open goal.
Lazio reacted and Miroslav Klose's powerful volley from Mauri's cross went wide. Matuzalem was then handed his marching orders after he brushed Diamanti with his arm in an attempt to get past him. Lazio were given a helping hand after the restart when Rubin intercepted Klose's pass, but surprised Gillet with a back-pass that ended up in the back of the net.
The referee then showed Gonzalez a straight red card for a last-man challenge on Gaston Ramirez and Bologna made it 3-1. Diamanti's free-kick hit the wall, but Krhin got behind the rebound and hit a right-footed shot from outside the area past Marchetti. Lazio settled for damage limitation after that, defending deeply to prevent further arrears.