Roma vs Bologna 1-0: Pellegrini Penalty Secures Narrow Victory

A Lorenzo Pellegrini penalty early on gave Roma a narrow 1-0 victory over Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico in their return to Serie A action on Wednesday. It was a cagey affair throughout here with very few chances for either side but a solid defensive performance by the hosts meant they went away with all three points. 

Pellegrini Strikes Early 

The penalty was awarded inside the opening five minutes here when Jhon Lucumi was penalised for bringing down Paulo Dybala in the box. It was an easy decision for referee Alberto Santoro after the Bologna defender committed a careless challenge. Pellegrini then converted expertly from the spot, slotting the ball into the right corner and sending goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski the wrong way. 

The game yielded very few chances after that but Riccardo Orsolini did attempt a rather ambitious overhead kick around the half hour mark, following a decent cross from the left-hand side by Charalampos Lykogiannis. However, the Bologna winger wasn’t anywhere close to finding the target. 

Orsolini looked like the visitors’ best threat of the game, picking the ball up in some decent positions towards the right flank. However, the first half was poor, with very few chances created for either side.

Nicolo Zaniolo did have a decent chance to score towards the end of the opening 45 minutes, with the ball falling to him kindly inside the box following a corner. However, the 23-year-old failed to keep his shot on target, with the ball flying past the post. 

A Stronger Second Half

The second half did see the game pick up in intensity as both sides started to create more. Immediately after the break, Roma came extremely close to doubling their lead after some woeful defending by Adama Soumaoro.

Zeki Celik had advanced down the right flank well before putting in a fairly tame cross. However, Soumaoro failed to deal with the danger sufficiently, allowing Zaniolo to pick the ball up close to goal but Skorupski was there to make a crucial save.

Orsolini continued to pose issues for the Roma defense as the second half progressed. He took control of a superb lofted pass by Roberto Soriano before attacking the box. Nonetheless, Roma just about managed to clear the ball before Rui Patricio comfortably denied an effort from range by Lucumi. 

Bologna Fight Back in Vain 

The visitors started to impose themselves more on the game as the second half progressed but they still struggled to create too many opportunities. The Giallorossi would have been worried after Santoro had to wait for a VAR review for a potential penalty with around 20 minutes to go but it was not awarded. 

Roma had to dig in deep to protect their lead, displaying an excellent display of team defending and solid defensive structure. There was almost some late drama but Chris Smalling made a brilliant block to deny substitute Niklas Pyyhtiä. The resulting corner almost gave Bologna an equaliser deep into added time but Tammy Abraham made a crucial headed clearance off the line to secure all three points for Roma. 


January 4, 2023 – Serie A 2022-23 Round 16

SCORERS: 6′ Pellegrini (R)

ROMA (3-5-2): Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Celik, Pellegrini, Cristante, Tahirovic (64′ Matic), El Shaarawy (65′ Zalewski); Dybala (74′ Bove), Zaniolo (60′ Abraham) Coach: Mourinho

BOLOGNA (4-2-3-1)Skorupski; Posch (82′ Pyyhtia), Soumaoro, Lucumi, Lykogiannis (65′ Cambiaso); Medel (65′ Schouten), Ferguson; Orsolini, Dominguez, Soriano (57′ Aebischer); Arnautovic Coach: Motta

REFEREE: Mr. Santoro from Messina
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Ibanez, Celik (R) Ferguson, Thiago Motta (not on pitch), Aebischer, Dominguez (B) Added Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 6′