Bologna gain space with Cagliari win
Bologna took an important step away from the bottom three of Serie A with a 1-0 win over Cagliari at the Stadio Dall'Ara tonight.
Alessandro Diamanti scored the only goal of the game in the 54th minute as Stefano Pioli's side moved above the Sardinians into mid-table, six points clear of the relegation zone with six games of the season remaining.
Cagliari searched in vain for an equaliser and must now fear for their own future with just four points separating them from in-form Lecce in 18th.
Robert Acquafresca missed two early chances for Bologna with Diamanti also giving an early indication of his shooting ability. Cagliari's only chance of a tight and tedious first half was an unchallenged header from Joaquin Larrivey which missed the target.
Acquafresca was nearly clean through on goal just before the break, but Michele Canini halted his route to goal and was given a yellow card. Diamanti then tried his luck from 35 yards out with Michael Agazzi making a good save to push the ball behind for a corner.
Agazzi had been warned often enough about Diamanti's shooting, but he was still unable to prevent him from putting Bologna in front in the 54th minute. The Bologna forward curled his direct free-kick over the wall and just beyond Agazzi's reach in the top right-hand corner.
The Sardinians responded with Andrea Cossu's volley tipped over instinctively by Jean-Francois Gillet. Thiago Ribeiro then failed to take advantage of a defensive mix-up as he placed his shot wide of the open goal from the edge of the penalty area.
The tension got too much for Pioli, who was ordered from his bench with his side struggling to contain a buoyant Cagliari. Larrivey sent a header against the crossbar as Cagliari threw men forward in search of an equaliser which they were unable to find as Bologna held on to all three points.