Wow, it has been a while since we’ve strung together a series of good results. 3-2 against Salernitana. 0-0 against Atalanta. Finally, 1-0 against Hellas Verona. While I am already on the Bologna for Champions League hype train, we can’t let the hype get to us. However, if you look at the table after the first three match days, you’ll see that we are in 6th place. On the other hand, we’ve played the current 19th and 20th teams in the league. Nevertheless, we are also above the provincial clubs of Fiorentina, Lazio, and Juventus; but it is only the third game of the season. The only time I can remember being in a higher position is when Bologna is in the top three at the beginning of the season, due to the teams being in alphabetical order.
Sorry for the tangent. The string of positive results is getting to my head. Miha has done something with that defense, because for some reason we haven’t been creating much clear-cut chances. Kawata_bologna on Twitter brought up a good question: “When did Bologna be able to run no goals in two consecutive games?” I’ve done some digging and, while I am no stats wizard, the answer to that question appears to be in 2018. The last time Bologna went two games without conceding was December 2018. That is almost three years. 3. In 2018, Bologna had two 0-0 draws against Parma and Milan. There are a handful of starters who played in both games, specifically Lukasz Skorupski and Mattias Svanberg.
Against Hellas Verona, Bologna lined up in its now default 4-2-3-1 formation. The back four remained unchanged from the 0-0 draw against Atalanta. As a reminder, those four were Hickey, Bonifazi, Medel, and De Silvestri. Medel continues to be a big surprise for me. He played another amazing game. At the same time, I still get worried when someone goes against him one-on-one. He’s tenacious and so far, has yet to make any mistakes. Medel made a handful of great challenges in the box, but he did end up getting put on ice skates in the second half. While Medel continues to play well, Kevin Bonifazi worries me. In the second half it seems like he lost his concentration, which allowed Simeone to be one-on-one with Skorupski. I’ll give Bonifazi credit he continued to win the long balls into Simeone. He is a presence in the air, which I appreciate. Hickey and De Silvestri continued to play well on the outside. Verona targeted Hickey frequently in both the first and second half. Hickey was frequently attacked by Barak and Faraoni on the left side. To counteract the 2 vs. 1 Hickey often tucked in close to Bonifazi to allow Faraoni space on the wing. Hickey was able to overcome the barrage of attack and looked confident. Hickey has played an amazing couple of games and hopefully he will continue to play well.
In my opinion, the two holding midfielders were the two players of the game. I am a proudly a member of the Nicolas Dominguez fan club. I think he has played an amazing season so far. He is all over the place and continues to dominate the midfield. I hope he continues to play out of his mind the rest of the season. If I were the coach, I would have an extremely hard time playing Schouten over him. Svanberg scored the game winning goal. He was able to get on the end of an Arny pass inside the penalty box and dispatch it to the bottom corner.
Our front four included: Orso, Capitan Soriano, Magical Musa, and Arny. Half of our front four was disappointing. Orso and Musa continued to struggle, neither was able to create a lot of chances. When Barrow did get a chance to put the ball in the back of the net, he duffed it from six yards out. Barrow has been extremely hot and cold this season. Bologna looked significantly better going forward when we added replaced both of them for Skov Olsen and Sansone, particularly Sansone.
So, what’s next. Well next week we make a trip to Milan to face Inter. This will be the hardest game of the season so far. I’m hopeful that we’ll continue our unbeaten streak another week.