Despite Palacio’s brilliant goal, Bologna lost against Inter Sunday afternoon. It was Bologna’s fifth loss in six games, and it is now essential that Bologna find a way to win games again. With Sassuolo coming up next, Donadoni has got a lot of work ahead of him.
As anticipated, Roberto Donadoni went back to the regular 4-3-3 formation, after trying a 4-3-1-2 against Napoli. Mattia Destro went to the bench, and was replaced by Riccardo Orsolini. Godfred Donsah also had to drop to the bench, whilst Federico Di Francesco came into the line-up. The last change to the team was Giancarlo Gonzalez returning at the expense of Filip Helander.
First half: Inter kicked off the game, and almost immediately went into attack mode. Yann Karamoh played an intricate pass into Bologna’s box, Marcelo Brozovic came on a surging run from behind. He curled the ball into the box where Éder waited to pounce on the ball, with Mirante standing now chance.
Bologna got their first chance of the match in the 23rd minute. Adam Masina whipped in a brilliant cross from the left, which Palacio met with a thumping header inside the box. Unfortunately, Handanovic was there to deny Bologna the equalizer with a good save.
Then, a minute later, Palacio put the ball into the net. Miranda failed with his clearance, and the veteran striker was there to capitalize on it with a stunning strike that went into the far corner.
Inter had a couple of penalty appeals towards the end of the half, but the referee denied them both, and the half ended at 1-1.
Second half: Bologna kicked off the half, but it was Inter who started the half in the best fashion. A corner from the right was put into the box, but somehow neither D’Ambrosio nor Skriniar managed to put the ball over the line.
A couple of minutes later, Perisic got a huge chance after a cross from the right, but his headed effort went way over the bar.
After 63 minutes, Inter went back into the lead. Karamoh got the ball on the right, cut inside the field, played a one-two with a team-mate, before he curled the ball into the corner.
Then, Ibrahima M’baye made things worse with two yellow cards in four minutes, and Bologna went down to ten men.
Bologna tried to press for an equalizer towards the end, but Inter stood firm, and got the win. To make things worse, Masina got a red card in extra time for a horrendous tackle on an opponent.
What we learned:
Riccardo Orsolini started his first game for Bologna against Inter, but he struggled throughout the game. He misplaced passes, lost the ball, and was constantly out-muscled by the opponents. However, one must not be too hard on the young winger. He is 21 years old, and he has got very little experience in Serie A. He will grow with more time on the field, and this result is not because of his struggles. The similarities between him and Verdi may have made expectations of him too high, but it was never the case that he would go straight into the team and dominate in such a fashion as Verdi. If Bologna give him time though, then he’ll most likely show how big of a talent he is.
One of the main issues throughout the game was that Bologna failed to create much going forward. Bar Palacio, no players did much going forward. Di Francesco and Orsolini struggled, neither of Poli or Dzemaili were good going forward, while the substitutes Felipe Avenatti and César Falletti failed to make a contribution of the bench. That Donadoni opted to keep Destro on the bench was quite odd, but he has been talking about the need for players to show the right attitude, so that might be the reason. Bologna now face a period of games where the opposition is considerably weaker, however, if they continue in this fashion, the results won’t be positive. Donadoni needs to find a way to get the attack to start flowing again, even without Verdi.
The full-back issue is a major concern for Bologna. Inter were the best side today, but they didn’t create an abundance of chances. That what they did create though, came from the flanks. Masina and M’baye both struggled to cope with Inter’s wingers, although they should have gotten more help at times. M’baye made the game very difficult for Bologna when he got expelled, he really should have known better than to go into such a ridiculous tackle when on a yellow card. As for Masina, he can count himself lucky that he didn’t injure the opponent. They’ll now both face a suspension, M’baye for one game, Masina a couple more. The full-back area is now the biggest concern for Bologna, and they must do something in the summer to improve it. For now, Donadoni will have to do with Torosidis, Krafth and Keita for the next games. It won’t be an easy choice for him, as neither of them have played much this season.
Rodrigo Palacio: The former Inter player was Bologna’s only player throughout the game that constantly caused trouble for the opponent. He scored an excellent goal, and was involved in everything Bologna did going forward. He is therefore our pick for man of the match.
Bologna’s next game is against Sassuolo next sunday. The terrible run of form for the team should be ended versus them. This is a must-win game, and a win could be the start of a strong run of games from the team. Bologna now face a period of easier games in the form of Genoa and Spal, so this game could definitely set Bologna on an upwards trajectory. However, as stated above, if Bologna don’t find a way to improve the attacking play, these games will be very hard to get positive results from.
What did you think of the game? Tell us in the comments below!
Photo: Bologna FC