Bologna beat Salernitana to continue CL charge

Published April 2, 2024
LECCE: Romelu Lukaku (R) of AS Roma vies for the ball with Lecce’s Marin Pongracic during their Serie A match at Stadio Via del mare.—Reuters
LECCE: Romelu Lukaku (R) of AS Roma vies for the ball with Lecce’s Marin Pongracic during their Serie A match at Stadio Via del mare.—Reuters

MILAN: Bologna cruised past Serie A’s bottom side Salernitana 3-0 on Monday to continue their charge towards a first-ever appearance in the Champions League.

Stunning first-half strikes from Riccardo Orsolini and Alexis Saelemaekers and Charalampos Lykogiannis’ fine finish in stoppage time ensured that Bologna would stay in fourth place, five points above Roma who were held to a goalless draw at Lecce.

Thiago Motta’s side have won eight of their last nine matches and not only look a good bet to reach Europe’s top club competition, but also have Juventus in their sights.

Juve are just two points ahead of Bologna following their last-gasp defeat at Lazio on Saturday and have been dragged back into a battle for the Champions League.

Bologna currently sit in the final spot but Serie A is firmly in the running for an extra place in next year’s revamped tournament, meaning fifth may well be good enough.

Both Bologna and Roma host Juve before the end of the season.

“We’re doing really well at the minute, with the way that we’re playing and the results we’re getting,” said Motta to Sky Sport.

Although the seven-time Italian champions played one round in the old European Cup in 1964, the same year that they most recently won the Scudetto, they have never participated in the modern Champions League.

Last season’s ninth place was the highest Bologna had finished in Serie A for over a decade and they are well on course for their best placing in years.

“Obviously we’re looking at the table but that’s not what matters to us, what’s important is putting in the work in training and the performances on the pitch,” said Saelemaekers.

Stefano Colantuono could not turn around Salernitana’s fortunes in his first match in charge, his team falling to their third straight defeat as they sink towards Serie B.

Salernitana have not won a single game since the turn of the year and are 12 points from safety.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2024

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