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Bologna go second in Serie A as coach ignites comeback from hospital bed

Emmeline MOORE
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Serb Sinisa Mihajlovic is battling "acute leukaemia"

Serb Sinisa Mihajlovic is battling "acute leukaemia" (AFP Photo/Miguel MEDINA)

Milan (AFP) - Bologna moved second in Serie A on Sunday after a thrilling 4-3 comeback win over promoted Brescia inspired by coach Sinisa Mihajlovic who gave instructions from hospital as he undergoes a second round of chemotherapy for leucaemia.

"At the end of the first half we heard Mihajlovic's anger on the phone and this shook us," said Bologna forward Rodrigo Palacio.

"We talked to him before the game, for us it is very important and we miss him. We play like this thanks to his mentality."

Sunday's game was the first the 50-year-old Mihajlovic has missed despite his condition.

A quick-fire Alfredo Donnarumma double saw Brescia -- playing their first home match in eight years -- lead after 19 minutes.

Mattia Bani headed Bologna back into the game on 36 minutes, with the visitors trailing 3-1 before Brescia were hit by Daniele Dessena's sending off for a second yellow card just after the break.

Bologna came back with goals from Palacio on 56 minutes, Stefano Denswil four minutes later and a Riccardo Orsolini's winner ten minutes from time.

Mihajlovic's side, who finished tenth last season, are now two points behind Inter Milan and ahead of champions Juventus on goal difference after three games.

Elsewhere Duvan Zapata struck deep into injury time to rescue a 2-1 win for Atalanta over Genoa ahead of his side's Champions League debut, as Lazio fell to their first defeat of the season by the same scoreline at SPAL.

Colombian international Zapata rifled in on 95 minutes after Genoa captain Domenico Criscito had pulled the hosts level from the spot four minutes earlier.

The side from Bergamo had been ahead after Colombian substitute Muriel's 64th-minute penalty awarded when Genoa's new defender Cristian Zapata fouled his cousin Duvan Zapata.

But amid the late drama Genoa were awarded a controversial penalty after Christian Kouame went down easily following a Berat Djimsiti challenge.

"It seemed to be over with the penalty, but we wanted that win," said Zapata.

"The ball came to me and I put everything into it."

Gian Piero Gasperini's side are now sixth before they travel to Dinamo Zagreb for their first ever Champions League game next week.

"Finding victory after they equalised at the end of the match is a good sign," said Gasperini.

Lazio suffered their first defeat this season as they sat back following Ciro Immobile's 17th-minute penalty against SPAL.

An Andrea Petagna volley just after the hour mark in Ferrara and Jasmin Kurtic's late winner sealed all three points for SPAL.

The Romans are eighth with four points from three games.

Cagliari meanwhile won 3-1 at Parma in a game where there were 12 minutes of extra time following a lengthy VAR review.

Roma head for Sassuolo later Sunday looking for their first win this season with AC Milan playing at Verona.