Through a hard-working display, Bologna earned a draw against Lazio Sunday evening. Verdi put Bologna in front after three minutes, but Lazio levelled things thirteen minutes later. However, neither team managed to score after this, and the points were shared between the two sides. After two straight losses, a point at Stadio Olimpico is a very good result for Donadoni’s men.
Roberto Donadoni made three changes from the last game. Vasilis Torosidis came in at right wing back for Federico Di Francesco, whilst Rodrigo Palacio returend from injury at the expense of Felipe Avenatti. Last but not least, Giancarlo Gonzalez returned from suspension with Simone Romagnoli dropping to the bench.
What we learned:
It has taken him a few games to find his brilliance, but against Lazio it was very evident that Simone Verdi has recovered fully from his time on the sidelines. He was unplayable at times, impossible to get anywhere near when he had the ball at his feet, and was involved in almost everything Bologna did going forward. He got a goal, although it was not a typical Verdi goal as it was just a simple tap-in. To have him back to his best is very good news for Bologna as they aspire to climb higher in the table towards the end of the season.
Palacio made a huge impact at Bologna after his transfer from Inter last summer. He is hard-working, but it is his technique and above all, his cleverness that sets him apart from the other strikers Bologna have got. He has been out for some time now, and it was very good to see him back in the line-up. He offers something else than what Mattia Destro and Avenatti do, and if he can remain fit for the remainder of the season, Bologna will stand a better chance at climbing up the table. With the veteran alongside Verdi up front, Bologna look like a completely different team than what they’ve done in recent weeks.
Donadoni decided to put on Ladislav Krejci for Adam Masina towards the end of the game. The Czech international didn’t get much time out on the field, but the change was nevertheless an interesting one. I’ve been asking for Donadoni to change formations of late, as the 3-5-2 has not been working out from an attacking perspective. However, it does give Bologna a good defensive platform do build on, and if the coach was to utilize Krejci instead of Masina at left wing back, that could give Bologna a more attacking option down the left hand side. Krejci has not played much this season, but he is a very good player and he can undoubtedly do a good job in that role. It bodes well for Bologna to have two very good, but different options in Masina and Krejci.
The game against Lazio stood out from the last couple of performances by the team. Both against Spal and Atalanta, Bologna struggled, and they lost both of those games deservedly. However, against Lazio, the point was well-deserved through a hard-working display. Lazio struggled to break down Bologna’s defence, something which is part down to playing with three at the back. The formation has done wonders for Bologna’s defence, and if Donadoni can find a way to improve the attack whilst remaining with three at the back, Bologna should become hard to beat for most opponents.
Simone Verdi: The result was down to a hard-working display by the entire team, but Verdi stood out with a good performance. Lazio struggled to close him down, with him often creating trouble for their defence. He is now fully back from his time on the sidelines, something which bodes well for the remainder of the season.
We now face a break in the season, as many players travel to join up with their national teams. The next game is in a mere two weeks, with Roma coming to the Dall’Ara. Definitely a tough game, but if Bologna play like against Lazio, nothing is impossible.
What did you think of the match? Who was your man of the match? Let us know in the comments below!