Serie A - De Rossi gives Montella's Roma win
A controversial goal by Daniele De Rossi gave Roma a 1-0 victory at Bologna in Serie A, Vincenzo Montella’s first game in charge of the Giallorossi.
De Rossi swept home a fine finish just before half-time in the rescheduled clash at Stadio Dall’Ara and - while the strike itself was unquestionable - he should not have been on the pitch after escaping a second yellow card for a deliberate handball minutes earlier.
It was an otherwise uneventful match, punctuated by niggly fouls and solid defending on both sides, with the exception of the only goal of the match.
The original match on January 31 was suspended after 17 minutes due to heavy snow, with the rescheduled game restarted at that same point despite Bologna and Roma making three and four line-up changes respectively.
Roma’s Fabio Simplicio had the first chance of the match, stinging the palms of Emiliano Viviano with a shot from the edge of the box, while Bologna responded in kind through Riccardo Meggiorini, with Doni holding his effort.
Then came the moment of controversy - having already been booked for a late challenge on Gaston Fernandez, Roma skipper De Rossi clearly and deliberately palmed the ball away from Bologna defender Massimo Mutarelli.
There was no reason for the Italy midfielder to not see a second yellow card but, inexplicably, referee Luca Banti deemed a warning sufficient, despite the protests of the home players.
Bologna were furious and with justification - striker Marco Di Vaio even made the unprecedented step of speaking to television reporters at half-time to complain about the failure to book De Rossi, while afterwards the Roma player admitted he had been fortunate.
The second half was an indifferent affair, with neither goalkeeper tested until 20 minutes in, when Ramirez worked the eyes of Doni with a vicious shot that flew past the left-hand post.
Roma’s Vucinic responded with a similar effort that Viviano watched wide but there were few opportunities as both defences stood firm, the introduction by Bologna of last weekend’s match-winner Daniele Paponi having little effect.
Bologna pressed late on but the closest anyone came to another goal was Roma substitute Matteo Brighi, denied by Viviano after he was played in by Jeremy Menez.
Roma held on through five minutes of injury time for a victory that takes them sixth in Serie A, one point ahead of Juventus and two shy of fifth-placed Udinese.
Bologna, meanwhile, stay 12th.
Follow live text commentary on these games this week: Juventus v Bologna; Catania v Genoa; Cagliari v Lazio; Sampdoria v Inter