Bologna were off to a great start after Verdi’s deflected goal, but bad defending proved costly as Udinese turned the game around. This game was an opportunity lost, as a win would have sent Bologna up to 7th. The loss means that Bologna are still sitting in 12th, and Donadoni must now find a way to rid the team of defensive mistakes.
As expected, Donsah came in for Poli in midfield because of the latter’s red card against Chievo. The only other change was Di Francesco at the expense of Krejci. This meant that the Italian attacker got his first match since picking up an injury in the match against Roma in October.
Bologna got a huge chances just a minute into the game, as Udinese lost the ball because of sloppy passing. Di Francesco put in a cross for Verdi, who’s shot was deflected outside. The front three of Verdi, Destro and Di Francesco was very lively during the first twenty minutes of the game. Destro went down in the box after 25 minutes, but the referee dismissed his claim for a penalty.
Then, Bologna took the lead through Verdi. The winger cut inside the box from the right and shot from just outside the box. His shot deflected off Danilo and into the goal, with the keeper standing no chance. Ten minutes after, Udinese were level again. The away side crossed from the left, and Widmer was all alone on the far post to head the ball into the goal. That nobody was there to challenge Widmer made it way too easy for him to score, and these kind of mistakes are happening at an alarming rate at the moment.
The first half was not that bad by Bologna, but the second half started way worse. Just a minute into it, Lasagna got a huge chance to score, but his shot went off the post. Then, just a minute after, Lasagna got another chance, and this time he scored. As on the first goal, defending questionable as Udinese played their way through our defence way too easy.
Both teams had some chances during the second half, but nothing came of them. Bologna struggled to create huge chances, and Udinese frustrated Bologna by wasting time. Three points lost, and a lot of work ahead for Donadoni.
What we learned:
Lapses in concentration were yet again decisive. It has been a recurring theme this
season. Defensive mistakes have led to conceded goals. Especially have lapses in concentration made it easy for Bologna’s opponents to score goals. This time it was Widmer who scored easily at the far post, and no Bologna player was anywhere near him. Masina went inside to challenge a Udinese player who was in the zone of Bologna’s central defenders, and the left back should have been there to challenge Widmer instead. Di Francesco almost made it back to challenge Widmer, but Masina is really the one to blame. Donadoni need to rid his team of these kinds of mistakes, as it have led to a lot of lost points this season. Because of the regularity of these mistakes, to single out any particular player would be wrong. That these lapses in concentration happen as regularly as they do is on the coach, and he needs to find a way to fix it.
Inclusion of Di Francesco was very interesting. Destro has been back to his best lately, and Verdi has played brilliantly all season long. The latter two are therefore given in the line-up at the moment, and the left attacker is the only uncertainty before matches. Palacio has been great this season, and so was Di Francesco before his injury. Krejci and Okwonkwo have both done ok when called upon, and Donadoni therefore has got a bit of a headache. That it was Di Francesco who got called upon today says something about what the coach sees in him. It was evident that he lacked a bit of sharpness today, but that will come with more time on the field.
Adam Nagy has improved this season. He was subbed off after 56 minutes just minutes after Udinese’s goal, but the minutes he played I was impressed by him. He’s very calm on the ball, and his technique is brilliant. He was unlucky to be subbed off, and I think it was the wrong decision to take him off. He could have made a difference during the last half hour of the match, especially when the Udinese players started to feel tired. I think the Hungarian will improve even more this season, and that he will become an integral part of the team.
Mattia Destro: No player impressed me that much in this game, but Destro gets the MotM award for a hard-working display. This was summed up in him charging back towards the corner flag to win back the ball from a Udinese defender. On another day he would probably have scored too, as he got some chances during the game. He has really turned his form around since struggling initially this season, and he is now an integral part of the team yet again.
The next game is next Saturday away at Torino. They drew 0-0 at home against Chievo this round, and they’re just the one point ahead of us going into that game. That means that it’s a game where we can climb up the table with a win. Torino is a tough opponent though, especially at Olimpico, but if the team manages to rid themselves of the defensive mistakes, a positive result is achievable.
Photo: Bologna FC