Bologna hand Ranieri first Sampdoria defeat despite Mihajlovic's absence

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was absent as he continues his treatment for leukemia but his side got back to winning ways in Serie A with a 2-1 success at the expense of Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria on Sunday.

Mihajlovic had returned to the bench in Turin last weekend for a 2-1 defeat to defending champions Juventus, but he was back in hospital for chemotherapy again as his team ended their five-match winless run to hand Ranieri his first defeat as Sampdoria coach after taking over two weeks ago.

Goals from Rodrigo Palacio three minutes after the break and Mattia Bani 12 minutes from time ended Bologna's run without a win stretching back over a month and moved them 10th, just one point off the Europa League berths.

Manolo Gabbiadini pulled a goal back for Sampdoria after an hour but they remain rooted to the bottom of the table on four points after their seventh defeat in nine games.

"If Bologna won today it's because they fully believed in victory." said Ranieri.

"After the second goal we fell apart, we all wanted to do something individually and not as a team."

Former Yugoslav international Mihajlovic played for Sampdoria during his playing career and also coached the Genoa outfit for two seasons.

And the visiting fans paid tribute to the Serb unfurling banners: "Winning men always find a way. Onwards Sinisa."

Ranieri, 68, took over this month with his first game in charge a goalless draw against his former club Roma last weekend.

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