The Serie A season 2017-18 is history, and Bologna finished in 15th with 39 points. In the season review, we’ll quickly sum up the season. In the first part of this series, we give you our reflections on the first nineteen games of the season. Without further ado, here is part one:
Serie A 2017-18: August – December
Bologna started the season with a draw against Torino, before the first win of the season was a fact against Benevento. September started in a bad way as they lost against Napoli and Fiorentina, before a draw was well-earned against Inter. Then came what was perhaps the strongest period of the season. Wins against Sassuolo, Genoa and Spal rocketed Bologna upwards in the standings.
However, these games were followed up by four losses in a row against Atalanta, Lazio, Roma and Crotone. Despite good performances against the two Rome sides, Bologna did not manage to get anything out of the games. The game against Crotone witnessed one of the moments of the season, as Simone Verdi scored two free kicks, one with each foot.
Bologna finished November in a strong fashion, as they secured three points against Verona as well as versus Sampdoria. That was followed up by a draw against Cagliari, before two consecutive losses came of the games against Milan and Juventus.
The last two games of December saw Bologna win against Chievo and lose against Udinese, going into the new year in 12th.
The first half of the season saw Bologna deliver inconsistently. A good performance in one game was followed up by a terrible one in the next, and often this Jeckyll and Hyde quality was evident in games as well, as Bologna had one good half and one terrible.
The theme of the first half of the season was perhaps that of Bologna playing well against the supposedly better sides of the league, yet still not managing to get a good result from these games. Against Napoli, Inter, Lazio and Roma, Bologna played considerably better than against the weaker sides, and especially against the first two should Bologna have done better.
The contrast came against the weaker sides, as Bologna often failed to function well as a team. Against Sassuolo and Genoa in late September, Bologna never imposed themselves on the game, but they still managed to win both. This can be seen as a good quality, to win on bad days, but the problem lasted the entire first half of the season.
Versus Crotone, Cagliari and Udinese, Bologna dropped points at a crucial time of the season. As these games were surrounded by tougher ones, Bologna never managed to gather any momentum, and they subsequently never managed to push into the upper half of the table.
Overall, the first half of the season was the most positive one. Going into the last nineteen games of the season, Bologna were still very much within touching distance of the top eight, and the threat of relegation seemed gone.