First game of the season, and three points in the bag. A crazy game to start the season, with three red cards, coming from behind twice, and winning thanks to a brace from Lorenzo De Silvestri of all things.
Bologna started off having most of the possession, but struggling to create anything noteworthy. Around the half-hour mark, Stefan Strandberg got two yellow cards in a minute (if not less). Still, Bologna struggled creating much. Five minutes into the second half, Roberto Soriano too was sent off after what I think was a bit harsh second yellow card. Salernitana got a penalty as well, Federico Bonazzoli putting it away.
Seven minutes later, De Silvestri put us back on level terms with a thumping header. Salernitana did not want any of it, and regained their lead after 70 minutes. The goal seemed to piss off Marko Arnautovic, though. Emanuel Vignato got the ball four minutes after the goal, cutting inside from the left, passing the ball to Jerdy Schouten, who played a one-touch pass to Arnautovic. Our new striker got the ball, turned around and comfortably put the ball past the goalkeeper with his left foot. Bologna were level yet again.
Three minutes later, Bologna took the lead for the first time of the game. De Silvestri got up ahead of everyone on a corner and headed the ball into the back of the net for the second time of the game. Bologna seemed to have control after that goal, although Schouten made it more difficult with his second yellow a few minutes from full-time.
So, what did we learn? For one thing, Bologna look like Bologna. 73 % possession are crazy numbers even taking into account the early red for the guests. Despite having most of the ball, they still struggle creating much noteworthy, and let the opponent too easily get space in the final third.
Another recurring theme, are the many Bologna players’ sheer stupidity when on a yellow card. Mitchell Dijks and Nico Dominguez have both been on my mind, but Schouten is another example as we saw today. This cannot continue, and could well have ended up costing Bologna two points today.
The defensive fragilities are still here, even with new boy Kevin Bonifazi. Malang Sarr from Chelsea may be on his way to the club on loan, but he alone will not fix this side’s defensive problems, they go deeper than any individual player. Sinisa Mihajlovic has had several seasons now, but doesn’t seem to know how to improve the defensive side of his game.
The positive of the game is Emanuel Vignato’s cameo. He came on when we sorely needed creativity and a burst of energy. Straight away he found players in front om himself in contrary to the many sideways passes up until that point. He got a pre-assist on Arnautovic’s goal, and should be the first name in the line-up when playing like this. With Soriano and Schouten suspended, he will start the next match.
Arnautovic also seems like a clever acquisition, and provides an outlet up front as well as some clever finishing. Onto Atalanta!
PHOTO: Bologna FC