Inter Milan edge out Bologna to extend Serie A lead to 18 points.

By Sports Desk March 09, 2024

Inter Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Bologna.

With closest challengers Juventus not in action until Sunday, Simone Inzaghi’s side took full advantage to move 18 points clear.

Yann Bisseck’s first-half header proved enough for a 14th straight victory in all competitions to end Bologna’s own winning run.

The Nerazzurri started brightly, with Alexis Sanchez forcing Bologna goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski into an early save at the near post before Matteo Darmian sent a left-footed shot wide.

Nicolo Barella then fired straight at Skorupski after collecting a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and Carlos Augusto’s angled drive was well saved.

Bologna threatened when Scotland midfielder Lewis Ferguson called Yann Sommer into action with a long-range effort and then Alexis Saelemaekers curled his shot just wide.

Inter finally made the breakthrough in the 37th minute when centre-back Alessandro Bastoni clipped a pass over from the left through the area toward the back post, where Bisseck headed the ball down and into the net.

It was almost 2-0 just before half-time when Darmian sent the ball across the face of goal towards Barella, but Bologna defender Victor Kristiansen managed to make a sliding block.

Bologna regrouped at the break and went close to levelling soon after the restart when Jens Odgaard sent Stefan Posch away down the right and his angled drive back across goal flew just wide of the far post.

Inter boss Simone Inzaghi looked to freshen up his side again following the hour mark, with Kristjan Asllani and Davide Frattesi sent on.

Former Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic came off the bench after 66 minutes, which was greeted by some jeers from the home support at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

Bologna, who had won their last six matches to climb to fourth in the table, continued to press Inter back as Ferguson cut inside and drilled a shot wide.

With 12 minutes left, Joshua Zirkzee forced a brilliant reaction save from Sommer before substitute Riccardo Orsolini headed wide from a corner as Inter saw out the closing stages.

Arnautovic went down in stoppage time, appearing to pull a hamstring, and had to be helped off the pitch with an injury which could leave him doubtful for next week’s Champions League last-16 second-leg clash at Atletico Madrid.

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