Lots of goals, VAR incidents, a red card, disallowed goals, and a lot of passion. The game showed us one and for all that Destro is back to his best, and Verdi kept on dominating. The game against Chievo Verona had it all.
Roberto Donadoni made two changes for this game. Godfred Donsah had to settle for a place on the bench, and Adam Nagy came in for the Ghanaian. There was also a change in attack, with Ladislav Krejci in for Orji Okwonkwo.
The game started with a bang, as Mattia Destro headed Bologna in front after four minutes. Neither team managed to take control of the game after the early goal, but there was some chances for both teams. Then, around the half-hour mark, Roberto Inglese equalled the score with a thumping header on a corner. Defending questionable, as he wasn’t picked up at all.
Not a lot happened the last fifteen minutes of the half, but five minutes into the second half that changed. Adam Masina tried his luck from distance, and Sorrentino gave a rebound. Verdi was there to pounce on it, and Bologna were in front yet again. Verdi continued to dominate the game after his goal, and he was very close doubling his tally, but his effort was unfortunately saved on the line.
With ten minutes to go, Andrea Poli got his second yellow of the game for a reckless tackle. This could have changed the game, and a player of his experience should not have gone into a tackle like that when already on a yellow. The sending off made Chievo more determined to score, and that they did only five minutes after the red card. The referee had to utilize VAR on the goal, and it took around five minutes before they eventually allowed it.
However, Bologna weren’t going to settle with a draw. Destro, who had been brilliant all game, got through on goal after a Chievo defender slipped and lost the ball. Destro was calm as a summer sea as he placed the ball comfortably in the back of the net. Chievo managed to put the ball into the net not long after, but the referee disallowed it.
What we learned:
Bologna’s ability to keep on fighting was very evident in this game. The early goal gave Bologna a great start, something which they haven’t really had for a long time. But, Chievo’s two equalizers could have damaged the moral of the team. That didn’t happen, as the team kept fighting for another goal, even when Andrea Poli had been sent off. The game will give the team a lot of confidence going forward, and rightly so given how the team played.
Mattia Destro is finally back to his best. The striker didn’t have the best start to the season, as new boy Rodrigo Palacio took his place in the side. Over the last couple of weeks he’s fought back his place in the team, and now the goals have started coming. But, in addition to the goals, he has also delivered hard-working displays, and he has at times functioned as a target-man. His aerial ability has taken me a bit by surprise this season, as it wasn’t something I tought he’d be that good at. He has developed into a complete striker, as he is now longer the typical poacher, but instead he contributes in the build-up as well.
Simone Verdi has dominated in most games this season, and for him to get another goal and assist is really not that surprising. But, I have to mention his performance nevertheless. His cross for Destro was inch-perfect, and the way he pounced on the rebound to score showed great anticipation. He has now got 6 goals and 5 assists to his name, which is very good for a team of Bologna’s stature. Let’s hope that he stays for a long time.
Nagy over Donsah was an interesting choice by Donadoni. Donsah has been playing well this season, as his ability to dribble past players have created a lot of chances thus far. That the coach decided to bench him for Nagy was very interesting, especially
considering the rumours of him leaving the club. There has been talk of him being offered a new contract, but that he doesn’t want to sign. Inter have been rumored to be interested in him, and Torino was supposedly interested in the summer. Given his good performances this season, as well as the fact that he has over two years left on his current contract, he should fetch a good transfer fee if he were to leave. Nagy performed well in his place, and he is a player that should be given more time on the field.
Mattia Destro: This could easily have gone to the excellent Verdi, but my pick for best player is Destro. He worked hard, won headers, and scored two goals. If he keeps on playing like this, either Palacio or Di Francesco will have to do with a place on the bench when they’re back from their injuries. A Destro in this kind of form is second only to Verdi in the Bologna team.
Bologna will face Udinese next at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. They struggled initially this season, but when they hired Massimo Oddo their form turned around quite dramatically, with their win over Inter their greatest achievement. Still, Bologna should have enough quality to beat them, and they will have a lot of confidence after beating Chievo.
Photo: Bologna FC