Cremonese scraped a point in Bologna under new coach Davide Ballardini thanks to a last-minute Alex Ferrari goal-line clearance, as a Vlad Chiriches own goal cancelled out the David Okereke penalty.
The hosts were decimated by injuries including Nicola Sansone, Marko Arnautovic, Kevin Bonifazi, Gary Medel and Lorenzo De Silvestri. Cremonese made their debut under new coach Davide Ballardini last week with a shock Coppa Italia victory on penalties against Napoli.
Riccardo Orsolini had a strong run only to fire straight at Marco Carnesecchi, then when he did force a tough save from a tight angle, it was only after wandering offside.
David Okereke tested Lukasz Skorupski with a control and half-volley, but it was more Bologna with Stefan Posch stinging Carnesecchi’s gloves from distance.
Orsolini crashed into the goalkeeper as he went to pluck a cross out of the air, while Daniel Ciofani pounced on a defensive error for a shot deflected wide of the near post. VAR called the referee over, as Nico Dominguez used his fist to punch the ball rather than head it in that move, and Okereke converted the penalty.
Orsolini and Dominguez had curlers just off target before Bologna’s chaotic equaliser. Carnesecchi did well to parry Lewis Ferguson’s header on, but then two Cremonese defenders got into a muddle trying to avoid a Joshua Zirkzee tap-in and it ricocheted into the net off Vlad Chiriches.
Skorupski rushed out to deny Felix Afena-Gyan and Carnesecchi flew to beat away a ferocious Charalampos Lykogiannis free kick, while Orsolini drilled wide after Dominguez robbed Soualiho Meite in the final third.
Bologna continued to pour forward and Ferguson’s screamer skimmed the woodwork, but Cremonese received another penalty when Afena-Gyan was caught by Jhon Lucumi. However, this time VAR intervened to revoke the decision, because Lucumi clearly got the ball first.
Orsolini’s free kick was inches wide of the near top corner, but it seemed for all the world as if Chiriches had scored another unlucky own goal when Carnesecchi parried an Orsolini volley onto his shin, except this time Alex Ferrari was ready for a desperate goal-line clearance.
Andrea Cambiaso did everything right in stoppages except the finish, slaloming through defenders only to fire straight at Carnesecchi.
Bologna 1-1 Cremonese
Okereke pen 50 (C), Chiriches og 55 (B)