Victor Osimhen’s header on a Hirving Lozano cross proved enough for Napoli to subdue Bologna 1-0 in front of their fans as the host woke up too late to get back into the game.
The Partenopei brought out the big guns with Victor Osimhen and Lorenzo Insigne, but Mario Rui and Faouzi Ghoulam were sent to the stands by Gennaro Gattuso. Bologna had Aaron Hickey, Andrea Poli, Federico Santander, Andreas Skov Olsen, Nicola Sansone, Mitchell Dijks and Gary Medel injured.
Napoli had a couple of early chances, Dries Mertens knocking down a Hirving Lozano cross for Insigne, then on the resulting corner Insigne’s ball flashed across the face of goal with nobody getting the final touch.
Mertens curled wide of the far post, but Kalidou Koulibaly had to time his sliding tackle on Riccardo Orsolini absolutely perfectly or it would’ve been a penalty.
Chucky Lozano was in fine form and he created the goal with a floated cross to the back post for totally unmarked Osimhen’s cushioned header. It was the 40th consecutive Serie A game without a clean sheet for Bologna.
Mertens and Insigne fired over the bar, while Orsolini’s excellent run fell apart when he came up against Koulibaly in the box.
Napoli thought they had doubled their lead after the restart when Osimhen attempted an overhead kick on a corner and Koulibaly was quickest to react on the rebound. However, after an on-field VAR review, it was confirmed the ball had struck Osimhen on the hand, meaning it had to be disallowed.
Rodrigo Palacio’s volley was charged down by Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who had his hands clamped behind his back to ensure there was no handball.
Insigne’s free kick whistled over, but Bologna had a late triple chance on 87 minutes. There was bedlam, as in the same move David Ospina parried from Orsolini, Palacio’s follow-up was charged down by Elseid Hysaj, then a Mattias Svanberg effort turned into an assist that Orsolini redirected wide at the back post.
Bologna woke up too late, but continued to frighten the Partenopei, Ospina beating away a Palacio angled drive.