Champions League-bound Bologna stunned by Genoa in final match of season

In their first season back in Serie A, Genoa claimed their highest league finish since 2015/16 by beating a lacklustre Bologna 2-0 at Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The Rossoblu’s unbeaten run ended after nine matches as departing manager Thiago Motta signed off with a defeat.

After guiding Bologna to Europe’s top table for the first time since 1964, Motta’s impending exit was finally made official in the week, with Juventus his rumoured destination.

After squandering a three-goal lead against the Bianconeri on Monday, Motta made nine changes, but the new-look side fell behind inside the opening 15 minutes here.

Intricate build-up play from the hosts saw Aaron Martin in behind down the left, reaching the byline before cutting back to Ruslan Malinovskyi on the edge of the box who made no mistake in firing home left-footed via the inside of the post.

Without talisman Joshua Zirkzee, the visitors struggled to stretch their opponents, with chances at a premium aside from a flash header from Giovanni Fabbian which drifted just past the post.

Motta was incensed by both his players and the referee at half-time, clearly having the desired effect in the dressing room as Bologna came out fighting, with Fabbian again flashing wide before firing a firm effort straight at Genoa goalkeeper Nicola Leali.

Key match stats
Key match statsOpta by StatsPerform

Bologna have been so defensively sound this season with only Champions Inter conceding fewer, but as they pushed men forward they were left exposed at the back and they were soon two behind.

It was a mistake from centre-half Sam Beukema which allowed Albert Gudmundsson to nick the ball and drive forward from midfield and, as he strode into space, Bologna’s backline parted like the Red Sea, allowing the Icelandic forward all the time in the world to pick his pass into Vitinha, who finished well for only his second of the campaign.

The Marseille loanee’s strike proved to be the final nail in Bologna's coffin, as an incredible campaign ended in defeat.

Their efforts will earn them a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, while Genoa will set about their second season in the top flight after comfortably staving off relegation.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Aaron Martin (Genoa)


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