Napoli and Bologna play out intense draw

February 15th, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Feb 15 (DPA) Serie A top striker Marco Di Vaio levelled the score for Bologna late Saturday as the struggling guests held Napoli to a 1-1 draw.

The 32-year-old forward scored his 16th goal this season after Christian Maggio was on target for Napoli’s short-lived lead in the first half.

The Naples side were the first to threaten with a close-range overhead volley from Ezequiel Lavezzi that goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli managed to block.

Antonioli, who hurt his nose on his prodigious save, was beaten in the 20th minute when Maggio laid in a ball squared by German Denis off a defence-splitting feed from his Argentine compatriot Lavezzi.

Only three minutes later, Bologna veteran Sergio Volpi dispossessed a dithering Leandro Rinaudo and fired a low drive that Argentina goalkeeper Nicolas Navarro failed to block, thus favouring Di Vaio’s easy flick.

The striker tried a header five minutes later as Bologna produced a good pressing and came close through a fast drive from Francesco Valiani.

A great save from Navarro on a further header from Di Vaio opened the second half, but Antonioli was crucial for Bologna making two stunning deflections to slap nasty headers from Denis.

As the game gathered speed, Navarro had to thank the woodwork in the 69th minute, when Davide Bombardini’s shot bounced off the lower face of the bar.

Earlier Saturday, struggling Torino took home one point from Lazio, holding the Rome side to a 1-1 draw after taking a first-half lead.

Napoli, who notched only two points from the last six games, and Lazio, with the same partial score, are relatively safe at mid-table.

Torino are in the three-team drop zone and Bologna lie just three points higher.

Leaders Inter Milan and AC Milan highlight the weekend late Sunday in a high-voltage city derby that offers the Devils a last chance to remain in contention for the title.

Inter have 53 points from 23 games, with Milan trailing at 45. Separately, second-place Juventus, at 46 points, welcome Sampdoria earlier Sunday.

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