Serie A - Late show drags Bologna out of trouble
Two late goals in the space of a minute gave Bologna a 2-0 win at home to Lecce, pulling Alberto Malesani's team out of the Serie A drop zone.
The home side had by far the better of the play but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Antonio Rosati kept Luigi De Canio’s team in it until Marco Di Vaio and Henry Gimenez pounced with five minutes left.
The victory puts Bologna 12th, above Lecce on goal difference in a congested Serie A table.
From the off Bologna were the more dangerous side, holding the ball well and constantly a threat thanks to the movement of Di Vaio.
The veteran striker set up Riccardo Meggiorini in the fifth minute, but Rosati was equal to the finish.
The same combination almost put the hosts up midway through the first half, but Meggiorini’s flick evaded both Rosati and the post as it bounced wide.
Lecce had a couple of half-chances on the break, with livewire former West Ham forward Davide Di Michele twice forcing Emiliano Viviano into action, but Bologna bounced back with a succession of opportunities before half time.
Winger Antonio Busce found Di Vaio with a super cross but the ex-Parma striker bounced his header wide.
A minute later Di Vaio was at it again, exploiting a poor clearance from Alberto Giuliatto before dragging a low shot wide from an angle.
And with three minutes left in the half Di Vaio was denied by his team-mate, Meggiorini blocking his finish as he lay prostrate after a failed attempt to win a penalty.
Lecce came out with intent after half time, and were denied an opener by a remarkable Viviano save, diving across to bat out Gianni Munari’s flying header from Di Michele’s cross.
They got forward with more frequency but Bologna still had the lion’s share of possession, with Di Vaio and Ivan Radovanovic - who was later stretchered off with a serious-looking leg injury - firing shots from range.
A quarter-hour lull suited Lecce but, after the introduction of Gaston Ramirez, the hosts picked up the pace.
First Busce forced a smart stop from Rosati after clever link-up play with Di Vaio, then the ex-Italy striker over after an excellent backheel from Ramirez allowed Busce space to cross.
Then followed 20 minutes of dull, tepid play from both sides with the first meaningful effort on target a superb free-kick from Ramirez that Rosati was equal to.
That seemed to inspire Bologna, who clicked into gear and took the lead soon afterwards in route-one fashion.
Lecce failed to fully clear the corner and Gygory Garics lofted a high ball into the box that Miguel Britos flicked on diagonally for Di Vaio - as ever on the shoulder of the last man - to nod his own header into the bottom right.
And it was two within seconds as Lecce imploded, giving the ball away from kick off and allowing substitute Gimenez to race clear and clip a low finish past Rosati.
Lecce attempted to rally, with Brazilian sub Jeda drilling a vicious effort inches wide in injury time, but it was too little too late and Bologna leapfrog them to safety.