Quick match review today as I’ve got several exams in the coming days.

After the win against Sampdoria in the last round, expectations were high as Cagliari came to town. However, Bologna did not manage to take advantage of their possession, and the game ended with a draw. Bologna also had two penalty claims in the game, but the referee refused to use VAR on either occasion.

First half: 
Bologna with the kicked off, and they straight away started to dominate possession. Cagliari tried to create something on the counter after three minutes, but it did not amount to anything. Nicolò Barella had an exquisite pass after five minutes with the outside of his boot to Padoin, who crossed the ball to Joao Pedro, who unfortunately for Cagliari put the ball over the bar. Huge chance wasted from the Brazilian attacker. Cagliari proved their threat on the counter several times during the first ten minutes, as they got around Bologna’s fullbacks to cross the ball into the box. Bologna, on the other hand, tried as they usually do to play their way through the opposition defence, but the Sardinians were well-organized and tough to get through for the home-side.

Bologna got a chance on the counter after 12 minutes, Simone Verdi led the attack and eventually shot from just outside the box, but the shot deflected outside for a corner. Bologna kept on creating trouble for Cagliari on the counter, as they were quick going forward when they won the ball, however, no huge chances amounted from it the first twenty minutes. After 23 minutes, Bologna had yet another counter, which ended in Verdi putting the ball into the net. The goal, however, was correctly disallowed for offside. Bologna had a claim for a handball in Cagliari’s box after 25 minutes. Rodrigo Palacio headed the ball towards goal, and it would have gone in had it not been for a handball by Ceppitelli. The referee should have utilized VAR in the situation. FIGC is a joke. Donsah was disappointing in the first half hour of play, lost the ball several times. Mattia Destro got a yellow card on the half hour mark for being too aggressive in a duel. De Maio also disappointing in the first half, losing the ball and misplacing headers/passes. Bologna too sloppy with the ball in the final third of the field, which made it easy for the away-side to defend. Cagliari scored after 42 minutes, after a great pass by Paolo Faragò to Joao Pedro, who scored easily through on goal.

Second half:
Cagliari kicked the second half off, but Bologna quickly won the ball. Freekick to Bologna just outside the Cagliari box after Palacio was pulled down by Ceppitelli just a minute into the half. Cagliari with a huge chance to double the lead after 50 minutes, Ionita with a sweet give-and-go as he got through on goal. However, Antonio Mirante in the Bologna goal proved how quick reflexes he has got with an impressive save. Bologna, as they did in the first half, continued to keep most of the possession, but the Cagliari defence was well-organized and too hard for the home-side to get through. Destro had a huge chance after 54, but the goalkeeper of Cagliari cleared the ball just in front of the striker. Bologna with very sloppy passing in the second half, misplacing a lot of passes. Pulgar with a great free kick just minutes after, but the goalkeeper with yet another great save as the ball was heading towards the upper corner. Maietta got his jersey pulled of him inside the Cagliari box, but the referee ignored the incident as he did with many others during the course of the game.

Maietta got a yellow card after 64 minutes. Bologna was still giving the ball away, bad communication between the players. Penalty claim for Bologna yet again, but Poli got a yellow for diving after 66 minutes. He got an elbow in the back, yet another appalling decision by the referee. Donsah tried his luck from distance just minutes after, but his shot was not good enough. Andrea Poli off with an injury after 77 minutes, and Orji Okwonkwo replacing the midfielder.

Masina got down the left-hand side around the 80th minute, and put in a perfect cross for Destro to head the ball into the net. Great header by the striker to put his team back into the game.  Cagliari went straight into attack after the goal, but their attack did not amount to anything. Mirante yellow for arguing after 85 minutes. No team was able to take control of the match after Bologna’s goal, and the last ten minutes were characterized by sloppy passing from both teams. Bruno Petkovic on for Destro after 91 minutes.


What we learned:

Bologna continue to struggle against the teams in the lower half of the table. This has been the trend all season long, as they play well when they do not have most of the possession. Around 30% possession against Sampdoria lead to three goals, while around 60% today only amounted to one goal. This is something that Donadoni has to fix if they are to finish in the top ten. Still, the team managed to come back from being behind, and because of that they are still in the upper half of the table.

Several players disappointed in the game, with sloppy passing being the recurring theme. Adam Masina (the assist was good though) lost the ball several times, De Maio misplaced headers, and Godfred Donsah tried to do everything, but he lost the ball most times.  They all need to improve come the next game, and Donadoni should consider benching them, as he has got options. Adam Nagy should be given a chance, especially now that Andrea Poli is out suspended after picking up another yellow card.

Best Rossoblù:

Rodrigo Palacio: The veteran was Bologna’s best player when the rest of the team disappointed. Sure, Destro scored a good header, and Verdi created some problems for Cagliari. But, it was the Argentinian who time and time again looked dangerous with his work-rate and technical abilities.

What’s next?

The next game is away against AC Milan on Sunday evening. A very tough opponent, who are in a bit of a rut at the moment. Being the first team to concede points against Benevento today, they will undoubtably want a win against Bologna. However, perhaps a stronger team is exactly what Bologna need to get back to winning ways.

What did you think of the match? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

#rossoblù

Photo: Bologna FC

Posted by Fredrik Bakke

Founder of Sempre Bologna. Football writer at CalcioNorge. Student of English language & literature.

4 Comments

  1. In the end, it was a good draw. Bologna didn’t have the “hunger” shown in the match with Sampdoria, but it is definitely a good sign to have come to a draw after the direction the match was taking.

    I think the referee did a very bad job and penalized us a lot. The was a clear penalty. Plus he awarded Bologna 7 yellow cards in a match that was not at all violent and despite being less strict with Cagliari.

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    1. In the context of the game I agree that we can be happy with one point. However, before the game I viewed this game as winable. Two points lost or one point gained? Anyway, time to look forward to the next game.

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      1. I was hoping for three points too, especially if we had played with the same attitude as with Sampdoria. However, football is unpredictable 🙂

        The next one is with AC Milan and it’s going to be very tough. They were recently humiliated by the draw in Benevento and they are not holding up to their Champions League expectations. However, they are not playing badly, they do have a number of stars in their team and they will be looking for immediate revenge, especially the new coach Gattuso. San Siro is going to be an extremely difficult match. I would hope for a point, but it’s gonna be very very tough.

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  2. I think a positive result against Milan is achievable if we play as good as we did against Sampdoria. Because the team has performed well against the likes of Napoli and Inter as well this season, I have hope for this game. Gonna be tough, but not impossible.

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