Inter 0 Bologna 1: Santander stuns Spalletti's side at San Siro

Sinisa Mihajlovic enjoyed a victorious return to San Siro as he masterminded Bologna's 1-0 win over an out-of-sorts Inter on Sunday.

Inter players show disappointment during the defeat to Bologna.   -  Getty Images

Inter's winless run was stretched to four matches in all competitions as Sinisa Mihajlovic's struggling Bologna triumphed 1-0 at San Siro, in the process securing its first Serie A win since September. 

With the distraction of the transfer window out of the way, Ivan Perisic was back for the Nerazzurri but still lacked fluency as it followed up a Coppa Italia exit on penalties to Lazio by losing at home. 

Bologna - led by ex-Inter man Mihajlovic in the first match of his second stint as coach - fully deserved a half-time lead secured by Federico Santander, who threatened throughout. 

And Inter's response after the break was tame, with Luciano Spalletti's team struggling to provide service for Mauro Icardi as it made it far too easy for its determined opponent. 

Icardi should have scored inside the first minute, blazing wide after a dreadful Andrea Poli back pass, but Bologna soon came into its own. 

Samir Handanovic was alert to parry from Riccardo Orsolini and then had to make a wonderful stop to deny the dangerous Santander. 

Inter was on the ropes and it fell behind when Santander flicked a near-post header into the net from a left-wing corner for Bologna, with a dismal first half capped as Matias Vecino hacked at a clear opportunity at the other end. 

Lukasz Skorupski blocked bravely from Radja Nainggolan shortly after the restart, before a long throw presented an opportunity for half-time substitute Lautaro Martinez, who wastefully screwed his header wide. 

Spalletti sent on Andrea Ranocchia to add size to the attack with 15 minutes remaining as Inter pushed for an equaliser, but Skorupski beat away a left-footed volley from the centre-back and Bologna held on.

What does it mean? Spalletti's stars slumping 

Inter has struggled for consistency under Spalletti, but this performance was worryingly predictable. After a draw against Sassuolo, defeat at Torino and a shoot-out loss in midweek, the Nerazzurri was poor again. Aimless in attack and open at the back, the return of Perisic - linked with a move to Arsenal in January - did little to aid its cause.

Skorupski superb

The home side did not direct many efforts on target, but Skorupski was there when it did threaten to score. The goalkeeper also brilliantly challenged the advancing Icardi late in the first half. When Inter delivered cross after cross in the second period, the Poland international was there every time, coming off his line to command the situation.

Stefan suffers

Stefan de Vrij never got to grips with Santander, twice failing to clear the ball in the build-up to one early opportunity before he was beaten to the corner from which the forward scored the only goal of the contest.

What's next?

Inter next goes to Parma, which stunned Juventus in a 3-3 draw on Saturday. Bologna, meanwhile, welcomes Genoa the following day.

Key Opta facts 
- Bologna has won a game in Serie A for the first time since September 2018 (2-1 v Udinese).
- It is the first time it has won away against Inter since March 2013, with that game also finishing 1-0 in their favour.
- Inter has lost two games in a row for the first time since December 2017 in Serie A.
- Federico Santander's last three goals in Serie A have all been headers in away games.
- Mauro Icardi has failed to score in his last six Serie A appearances - it is his longest drought in the competition since May 2013 (nine games when at Sampdoria).
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