Bologna vs Napoli 0-0: Masked Man’s Profligacy Sends Partenopei into Abyss

If Rudi Garcia thought the season couldn’t go any worse for Napoli, he was gravely mistaken, as evidenced by tonight’s result at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. Bologna drew 0-0 with the reigning Serie A champions, inflicting another massive blow on their ever-diminishing chances of defending the Scudetto.

Things looked to have finally started going Garcia’s way when Napoli eked out a late 2-1 win at Sporting Braga in midweek Champions League action. It was supposed to be a turning point for the defending Serie A title holders following a brace of winless league outings against Lazio (L) and Genoa (D).

Garcia said the fans were behind him in the build-up to the game. But after another dismal performance, he could be staring down the barrel of supporters’ wrath. Napoli went winless for a third consecutive Serie A match for the first time in over a year, falling a whopping seven points behind early pacesetters Inter.

It’s possible the keenly-contested encounter at Dall’Ara could’ve panned out differently if Victor Osimhen hadn’t hit the post from point-blank only six minutes into the game. Napoli had only one decent opportunity in the remainder of the first half, but Giacomo Raspadori riffled a thunderous shot marginally over the crossbar.

Napoli continued to dominate possession after the break. Yet, Bologna stood well at the back, giving too little away. The critical moment of the game happened in the 71st minute as Riccardo Orsolini handled the ball inside the box. Referee Giovanni Ayroldi pointed to the spot, handing Osimhen a perfect opportunity to break his three-game scoring drought for the club.

However, last season’s Capocannoniere award winner squandered the resulting penalty well off the mark, wasting what turned out to be the visitors’ last chance of the game. Napoli were lucky to get away with a draw in the end as Ayroldi deemed Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s handball inside the penalty area insufficient to award a spot-kick to Bologna.

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