Bologna holds Lazio to 0-0 in Serie A
MILAN (AP) — Relegation-threatened Bologna held Lazio to a goalless draw in Serie A on Saturday in Davide Ballardini’s first match in charge of the home side.
Ballardini, who coached Lazio for half a season, replaced the sacked Stefano Pioli on Wednesday and immediately steered Bologna to only its second point in five matches.
Lazio, which beat Inter Milan 1-0 in Edy Reja’s first match in charge, had the best chance of the match in the 70th minute when talented teen Keita Balde picked out Antonio Candreva but his cross was blasted over the bar by Miroslav Klose from six yards.
“I saw two teams who were both fairly scared,” Reja said. “In order to play well you also need to move off the ball and attack the spaces.
“I hoped we’d have been boosted on a psychological level after the victory against Inter. Everyone ran a lot but we have to improve, the squad can give more.”
Both sides struggled to carve out opportunities and Bologna’s only real chance came following a well-worked team move, but Lazio goalkeeper Etrit Berisha did well to keep out Rolando Bianchi’s back-heeled flick.
Lazio did not have a single shot on target in a poor game.
Boos rang out at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara at the end of the match with Bologna fans clearly not happy. An enormous banner hung from the stands read “Enough shameful performances. You are wearing the Bologna shirt.”
Bologna moved provisionally two points clear of the relegation zone.
“Bologna was very focused and good for long periods,” Ballardini said. “We had a bit of a drop for quarter of an hour, but that’s OK. It’s difficult playing against Lazio, which is a great team, but I see positive aspects.
“We have to do everything to please the fans and win back esteem and affection. We didn’t create very much but Lazio did even less.”
Livorno was three points behind Bologna after losing 3-0 at home to Parma for a fourth consecutive defeat.
Parma had never won at Livorno but got off to the perfect start. With less than two minutes on the clock, Jonathan Biabiany went past a defender and crossed to the far side of the penalty area for Raffaele Palladino to volley low into the bottom right corner.
Palladino, who spent a season on loan at Livorno, almost doubled his tally in similar circumstances 15 minutes later but volleyed narrowly past the right post.
Amauri sealed the match three minutes from time, firing home the rebound after Massimo Gobbi’s effort crashed off the right upright.
Former Juventus striker Amauri scored his third goal in two matches with an unstoppable penalty into the bottom right corner after Emerson fouled Pedro Mendes.
Livorno’s best chance came at the end of the first half when Paulinho’s free kick was blocked by Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante.