Serie A | Empoli 0-1 Bologna – Fabbian wins it at the death

Serie A | Empoli 0-1 Bologna – In a gripping Serie A encounter on Friday evening, Giovanni Fabbian’s late goal ensured Bologna secured a vital win against Empoli at the Castellani Stadium, thwarting Davide Nicola’s team’s hopes for a draw.

Serie A | Empoli 0-1 Bologna

It was particularly poignant as Bologna, under the guidance of Thiago Motta, entered the match in fourth place following a commendable six-game win streak, recently snapped by a defeat to league frontrunners Inter Milan.

On the other side, Empoli was looking to rebound from consecutive losses to Milan and Cagliari.

Their situation was made more challenging by the absence of Bologna’s top scorer, Joshua Zirkzee, sidelined for three to four weeks due to an injury, with Jens Odgaard stepping in to fill the void.

The match started with Bologna dominating possession but needed help to convert their control into clear scoring opportunities.

Empoli’s goalkeeper, Elia Caprile, shone with a remarkable double save following an Alexis Saelemaekers corner 18 minutes in, maintaining the deadlock.

Bologna continued to apply pressure with Kacper Urbanski, testing Caprile from a set-piece, although to lesser avail.

Empoli’s most notable opportunity in the first half fell to M’Baye Niang, who failed to capitalize on a breakaway chance, allowing Bologna’s Sam Beukema to make a crucial intervention.

Despite Bologna’s possession, the first half ended without added time and no shots on target for Bologna’s Lukasz Skorupski to contend with.

Changes were made in the second half, with Riccardo Orsolini replacing Dan Ndoye to strengthen Bologna’s attack. Empoli appeared rejuvenated after the break, showing greater urgency and control.

Yet, the deadlock persisted with no shots on target until the 80th minute when Saelemaekers managed a promising attempt from the edge of the area, once again denied by the exceptional Caprile.

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Empoli showed marked improvement after the break, and while they didn’t create many chances, they arguably didn’t merit a defeat.

However, a lingering sense that Bologna might deliver a devastating late strike materialized in the final moments.

Bologna urgently pressed forward in what seemed like their last offensive effort of the match.

Riccardo Calafiori unleashed a powerful shot that Empoli’s goalkeeper, Caprile, couldn’t handle cleanly, allowing the substitute Giovanni Fabbian to pounce on the rebound and score in the 94th minute.

Following this result, Empoli stays in 17th place, holding 25 points from 29 games, with relegation rivals yet to play their weekend fixtures.

On the other hand, Bologna cements its spot in the Champions League qualification places, now only four points behind Juventus in third.

Final score:

Empoli 0, Bologna 1, with Fabian securing the win for Bologna in the dying seconds of the match.


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