Bologna were completely battered as Mazzarri got of to a flying start to his tenure as Torino coach. Pulgar missed a penalty at 1-0 a minute into the second half, and Torino subsequently doubled their lead minutes after. Now questions need to be asked of Donadoni, as it seems as he have taken Bologna as far as he can. Yet another game with defensive mistakes, and Bologna stay in 12th with the teams behind moving closer.
Coach Roberto Donadoni surprised everyone with a change in formation. To be able to include the in-form players Destro and Verdi, as well as Palacio and Di Francesco who both have come back from their injuries, Donadoni opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation. Pulgar and Poli started at the base of the midfield at the expense of Donsah and Nagy, while Krafth came in for Masina in defence.
Torino started the game in a bright fashion clearly wanting to impress new coach Mazzarri. A number of huge chances fell to Falqué and Niang, but neither managed to score. Just as we’d started to think that Bologna might be able to go in at half time at 0-0, Torino scored. A free-kick was curled in from Torino’s right-hand side, and De Silvestri was there to head it in.
The Bologna players came out of the dressing room with a clear desire to change things up, and Verdi was taken down inside the box after a minute. He was at first given a yellow for simulation, but the referee then decided to use VAR. The card was subsequently overruled, and a penalty was given. Pulgar (of all people) stepped up to take it, but Sirigu saved it with ease. A poorly taken penalty from the Chiliean, but his bad spell was not over.
Just a couple of minutes after the penalty miss, the midfielder misplaced a pass in Bologna’s half. This eventually led to Niang faking a shot with his right foot, before he curled the ball into the far corner with his left.
Donadoni tried to change things up bringing on Donsah and Orji for Di Francesco and Verdi. This didn’t help though as Torino continued to dominate. Late on Torino added to the score with Falqué’s shot from just outside the box sneeking past Mirante.
What we learned:
Donadoni’s position as head coach should be considered. The same mistakes are
happening game after game now, and that is on the coach. Pulgar’s misplaced pass led to the second goal, and Donadoni has had enough time now to rid his team of these kinds of errors. We’re now approaching three years under the reign of Donadoni, but the team has failed to improve, especially after his first season in charge. Last season was a huge disappointment given the additions to the squad, and the same can be said about this season. The additions of Poli, Gonzalez and Palacio gave Bologna some much-needed experience which they lacked last season, but the team still fails to make their mark on most games. Donadoni seems to have no ideas to improve his team, and it may therefore be time for Saputo to consider te coach’s position. A new coach with new ideas may be what’s needed to improve the team if we are to improve on last year’s finish. Fabio Grosso is doing great things at Bari, while Filippo Inzaghi has impressed as head coach for Venezia, and both of them could be worth looking at. Now there is a small winter break for the team, and if Donadoni continues then he has a lot of work ahead of him.
To let Torino dominate in such a fashion is unforgivable. This was perhaps the worst Bologna game of the season. Torino had 70% of the possession in the first half, while Bologna didn’t manage a single shot on target. If it had been Juventus these numbers would have been understandable, but that it was Torino is astonishing. They’ve struggled a bit this season, it was the first game under a new coach, and for them to dominate in such a fashion was very surprising. Bologna once again lacked precise passing which made it easy for Torino to win the ball back. This has been a recurring theme for Bologna lately, and it needs fixing. The simplest of passes was misplaced by players that generally are good at just that. The players seemed to be lacking in confidence and ideas throughout the match, something which was also the case against Udinese.
Pulgar will be blamed for the result, but everything is not on him. To miss a penalty
and give away a goal in a matter of minutes is unforgivable from the midfielder, but questions need to be asked of the entire team and the coach. Why was Pulgar the man to take the penalty when we had Verdi on the field? Pulgar may have had a very bad game, but so did almost everyone else too. There is no need to single out Pulgar for this loss alone, as the game was lost because of a collectively failure, not one man’s abysmal performance.
Rodrigo Palacio: In a game where the whole team struggled to do anything, Palacio was the man to impress me the most. He was involved in the few instances where Bologna did manage to trouble Torino’s defence, and he is therefore my pick for man of the match.
The winter break is now upon us, and that means that there will not be another Bologna game for the next two weeks. The next game is 21st of January when Benevento come to town. That is very much a must-win game after today’s loss. The teams behind us are sneeking closer, and if we are to keep up with the teams in front of us we’ll need a win.
Photo: Bologna FC