Thiago Motta’s first game in charge of Bologna has ended in disappointment as his team hit the woodwork twice in a 1-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Empoli in Serie A.
Filippo Bandinelli’s second goal in as many matches was enough to give Empoli their first win of the season on Saturday.
Brazilian Motta replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic earlier this week. Youth squad coach Luca Vigiani had been in charge for the 2-1 victory over Fiorentina last weekend, Bologna’s first win this season.
It is the third coaching job for Motta, who led Spezia to safety last season after also coaching Genoa in 2019.
Empoli were awarded a penalty in the 59th minute after a cross hit the arm of defender Petar Stojanovic. But, after a lengthy decision with the video assistant, referee Manuel Volpi reversed his decision because of an offside in the buildup.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play in the 77th when, under pressure, Bologna goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski allowed Liam Henderson’s cross to squirm out of his hands and Bandinelli tapped into an empty net.
Bologna almost levelled immediately but a header from Marko Arnautovic, who had earlier drawn a fantastic save from Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, came back off the right post and substitute Joshua Zirkzee also volleyed a corner off the crossbar in added time.
In Turin, Agustin Alvarez scored the winner shortly after coming off the bench to hand Sassuolo a 1-0 victory over Torino.
Alvarez headed Rogerio’s cross into the far bottom corner in the third minute of added time.
Sampdoria coach Marco Giampaolo is under further pressure after his side lost at Spezia 2-1 to leave them winless after seven matches, while Spezia earned their second victory of the season.