Mihajlovic furious at ‘inexplicable penalty’ against Bologna

Sinisa Mihajlovic was furious with Bologna players and the referee after a 4-3 defeat to Venezia. ‘This penalty is just inexplicable.’

It was a chaotic match at the Stadio Penzo, his first back on the touchline since going into hospital for leukaemia treatment on March 26.

The hosts were 2-0 up, then trailing 3-2, until a controversial Mattia Aramu penalty to equalise and Dennis Johnsen’s winning curler in stoppages.

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“We had a horrible start and weren’t aggressive enough, as shown by the opening goal, which not even a bunch of amateurs would concede in a weekend kick-about,” Mihajlovic told DAZN.

“At least we had the strength to react and turn it around, but then this penalty is just inexplicable. Gary Medel touches the ball first and then grazes Aramu’s foot, the touch isn’t even that clear. He falls over after an age. When VAR call the referee over, generally they change their minds, but instead it was confirmed.

“At the final whistle, the referee practically ran into the locker room, as if he was trying to escape or had a dirty conscience. They told us repeatedly all season that these soft penalties should not be given, it ruined the referee’s performance and irritated us.”

The penalty was a curious one, as from one angle it looked clearly as if Medel had caught Aramu’s foot, while from another he seemed to prod the ball away.

“The defeat was our fault too, of course, as I am angry we had the wrong approach and thought this might be easy just because Venezia are practically in Serie B and lost 10 in a row.”

It was not lost on Mihajlovic that Bologna had gone six games unbeaten while he was in hospital and suffered a defeat on his comeback.

At least the coach has not lost his sense of humour during chemotherapy.

“If we look at the last six games, we’ve laid some foundations for the future. If we look at today’s match then maybe I should’ve stayed in hospital and we’d have won.”

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