Venezia keeps slim hopes of survival with Bologna’s latest win

Venezia still have some hope of staying in Serie A for another year after Dennis Johnsen’s spectacular strike secured a thrilling 4-3 win over Bologna on Sunday.

Bologna’s Dennis Johnsen scores his side’s decisive fourth goal during the Italian Serie A match between Venice and Bologna at the Penzo stadium in Venice, Italy on Sunday. PA

Milano: Venezia still have some hope of staying in Serie A for another year after Dennis Johnsen’s spectacular strike secured a thrilling 4-3 win over Bologna on Sunday.

Andrea Soncin’s side would have been sacked after just one season in the Italian top flight had they failed to win, but Norway international Johnsen maintained his status for at least a few more hours.

The 24-year-old’s impressive effort ended a 10-game losing streak for Venezia and moved them within four points of Salernitana who sits just outside the drop zone and has the best record head-to-head between the two teams.

In Serie A for the first time in nearly two decades, Venezia are bottom of the league and are awaiting the outcome of the clash between in-form Salernitana and Cagliari to see if their top-flight status would last for at least another week.

A Salernitana win later on Sunday would relegate Venezia as the gap between the two teams would be seven points with two games to go.

Salernitana are on a five-match unbeaten streak, including four wins, and are on the verge of an incredible escape act after being entrenched at the bottom of the division for most of the season.

Bologna, which welcomed the return of coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after the Serb was discharged from hospital following treatment for leukemia earlier this week, remains 13th.

The visiting side were furious at the decision to award the soft penalty that Mattia Aramu netted at home to level the scores 12 minutes from time.

Bologna came back after losing two goals in the first 20 minutes to take the lead midway through the second half thanks to goals from Riccardo Orsolini, Marko Arnautovic and Jerdy Schouten.

But Aramu fell to the ground after the slightest touch from Gary Medel and VAR upheld a penalty decision which left Mihajlovic baffled.

Earlier, Atalanta maintained their bid for European football next season with a 3-1 win at Spezia meaning their opponents are not yet safe from relegation.

Goals from Luis Muriel, Berat Djimsiti and Mario Pasalic took all three points for Atalanta on the Italian Riviera, moving Gian Piero Gasperini’s side to seventh place with a cry of Europa League football.

After three straight seasons of Champions League action, the best Atalanta can hope for is Europe’s second-tier competition, as they are 10 points behind fourth-placed Juventus with two games to go.

While Juve and league leaders Inter Milan play in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday, the two Europa League spots can be earned through league standings.

Atalanta are level on points with Roma, who sit sixth and second in the Europa League ahead of their game against eighth-placed Fiorentina on Monday night.

Daniele Verdi’s well-taken equalizer on the half-hour wasn’t enough for Thiago Motta’s side, who can still be caught by both Cagliari and a 28-point Genoa side with the Sardinians.

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