Inter waste chance to secure spot in Europe with draw to Bologna
Inter Milan once again wasted the chance to get a stranglehold on a place in Europe next season as they threw away the lead twice to be held 2-2 at home by Bologna.
Mauro Icardi scored both goals for the Nerazzurri with Michele Pazienza’s deflected shot bringing Bologna level first before Panagiotis Kone scored their second.
Inter missed a penalty late on with Diego Milito denied from the spot while the hosts almost lost with the last kick of the game.
The draw gives Inter a three-point advantage over Parma, who are in action on Sunday, while Bologna move two points clear of the relegation zone, ahead of the remainder of the weekend’s matches.
Before the game got underway, Christian Chivu, who announced his retirement last weekend, did a lap of honor, bidding farewell to the home fans.
The man who has effectively taken his place on the left for Inter, Yuto Nagatomo, then set up the opening goal in the sixth minute with a cross from the left which was met at close range by Icardi, who left Gianluca Curci no chance.
Another cross from the left, this time from Juan Jesus, was laid back by Icardi to Esteban Cambiasso, whose powerful shot hit Icardi rather than the target.
Inter, who have thrown away far too many leads this season, were intent for that not to happen again as they searched for a second.
Their failure to find it led to the inevitable happening in the 34th minute when Pazienza leveled.
Gyorgy Garics beat Nagatomo before sending the ball in from the right for Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, whose shot was saved by the foot of Samir Handanovic with the ball falling out for Pazienza to fire home, with the help of a deflection off Jonathan Cristaldo.
Inter regained the lead in the 62nd minute with Icardi again finding the back of the net with a shot from the edge of the area which went in off the post.
This time, Inter’s lead did not even last 10 minutes before Kone beat Handanovic with his second attempt after making a mess of his first shot.
Milito was sent on by Mazzarri to add further weight to the Inter attack for the final 10 minutes, and they had a golden opportunity to take the lead for the third time when the referee awarded them a penalty for a foul on Rodrigo Palacio.
It was only Inter’s first penalty of the season and Milito was clearly out of practice as his effort was saved by Curci.
Bologna almost snatched victory deep in stoppage time when Handanovic made two quick-fire saves from Robert Acquafresca.