Bologna Inches Closer to Champions League with Victory over Napoli

Bologna’s aspirations for Champions League qualification received a significant boost as they secured a vital 2-0 victory over Napoli on Saturday.
Dan Ndoye and Stefan Posch’s early headers propelled Thiago Motta’s Bologna to a crucial win, propelling them to third place in Serie A standings, surpassing Juventus.
The triumph also stretched their lead over sixth-placed Roma to seven points, positioning them favorably for a top-five finish, which guarantees Champions League qualification.
Roma are at fifth-placed Atalanta — who have a game in hand — on Sunday night with the pair level on 60 points, and anything but a win for the capital club will guarantee Bologna a place in the Champions League.
Bologna played one match in the old European Cup in 1964, the same year they won the last of their seven league titles, but have never featured in the modern Champions League.
“More than the Champions League I’m happy about the squad who once again put in a really good performance against a good team,” Motta said to DAZN.
“I’m putting all my energy into enjoying the moment because the boys were great.”
However, the joy of victory was dampened by the injury of star forward Joshua Zirkzee, who departed the field in tears with a suspected thigh injury, casting a shadow over Bologna’s celebrations.
Meanwhile, Napoli endured a dismal outing, drawing the ire of their supporters, who witnessed their team’s dramatic decline from Serie A champions last season to eighth place in the current campaign.
The hosts had a chance to get back into the game when Victor Osimhen won a soft penalty in the 20th minute, but Federico Ravaglia pushed away Matteo Politano’s poor spot-kick.
Despite a chance to claw back into the game with a penalty opportunity, Napoli faltered, compounding their woes.
In another fixture, AC Milan registered a resounding 5-1 victory over Cagliari, ending their six-match winless streak across all competitions.
However, the triumph did little to appease discontent among Milan supporters, who remain dissatisfied with the team’s substantial gap from local rivals Inter Milan, the Serie A champions.
The disappointment of being eliminated from the Europa League and the significant point deficit behind Inter Milan have fueled speculation about the imminent departure of Milan’s manager, Stefano Pioli, marking the end of an era at the club after nearly five years at the helm.
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