Bologna won for the first time in six games as Verona were beaten by two goals to nill on Sunday. Simone Verdi gave Bologna the lead after half an hour of play through a brilliant free kick, whilst Adam Nagy secured the three points with a thumping shot just seconds before the end of the game. Here is our review:
Coach Roberto Donadoni made three changes to this game from the abysmal loss against Crotone. Mattia Destro returned to the side at the expense of Federico Di Francesco. Because of injuries to Godfred Donsah and Vasilis Torosidis, Ibrahima M’baye and Blerim Dzemaili also came back into the side.
What we learned:
Andrea Poli was brilliant the 75 minutes he got today. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following Bologna closely this season. After his free transfer from Milan this summer, Poli has grown into the rossoblù shirt, and he has become a true leader of the team. Today, he worked relentlessly for a good seventy minutes, he rarely misplaced any passes, contributed heavily in defence whilst also contributing in attack with his trademark surging runs from behind. He truly leads by example, and should be under consideration for the captaincy next season.
M’baye stepped into the side against Verona as Torosidis is injured. The Senegalese defender has been out of the team for some time now, but he returned with brilliance today. Given the recent rumours about him renewing his contract, he very much repaid that with a very good performance against Verona. He was excellent in closing down the away-side’s attackers, whilst also contributing in attack. He made one excellent interception inside Bologna’s box right at the end of the game, which was very crucial given that the score was 1-0 at the time. The defender has had his ups and downs this season, but today he showed how good of a player he can be.
During the first half, there was only one team out on the field. Verona got nowhere near Bologna during the half, the rossoblù having 64% of the ball, whilst also creating a lot of chances. However, after the break Verona got more into the game. Bologna were under a lot of pressure at times, especially during the first and last fifteen minutes of the half. Verona sought an equalizer, and went very close a couple of times, but thankfully they never got past Antonio Mirante. The first forty-five minutes was perhaps the best half of football from Bologna for a long time, and then to let Verona take over in such a fashion after the break could have ended with drop points yet again. It didn’t though, but in the future, Bologna need to make sure to take advantage of such a dominant display as the first half today.
Simone Verdi: He scored the opening goal, got an assist, but in addition he was very good with the ball at his feet throughout the game. Impossible to take the ball from him, good passing, excellent movement, and calm under pressure as always. He is therefore our pick for man of the match.
Bologna’s next match is a mid-week game against Sampdoria this Wednesday. Away from home, Bologna will find it tough but they can take some encouragement from the last time the two sides met. That time, Bologna won comfortably 3-0, even though being one man down for the entire second half. With the Verona game also injecting some positivity and optimism, let’s hope for another good display in three days time.
What did you think of the match? Who was your man of the match? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo: Bologna FC