Sampdoria – Match report vs Cagliari 02/12/2019

In a seven goal thriller, Cagliari scored a 96th minute winner to edge past Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria. A Fabio Quagliarella penalty before half time put Sampdoria 1-0 going into the break, Gaston Ramirez added a second before Radja Nainggolan pulled Cagliari back into the game with a rocket from the edge of the box. What followed was a basketball type back and forth that saw both teams fire in goals.

Sampdoria set up in a narrow 4-4-2 Diamond, with Ronaldo Vieira and Jakub Jankto flanking Albin Ekdal in deeper central midfield roles, supporting the front three consisting of Fabio Quagriella, Manolo Gabbiadini and Gaston Ramirez. The game plan for Ranieri’s team was to defend deep, and attempt to get at Cagliari on the counter. With Cagliari setting up in a 4-3-3 it was imperative that Vieira and Jankto covered the wide areas to stop a numerical overload.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ronaldo Vieira

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 19/07/1998
  • Current Club: Sampdoria
  • Career: SL Benfica (Y), Leeds, Sampdoria
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

The first thing that stood out to me about Ronaldo Vieira is his athleticism and intensity. He is of a stocky build but it is all muscle, this paired with his willingness to constantly apply pressure all across the right side of the pitch made him a force to be reckoned with in this game. Tasked with covering the marauding Luca Pellegrini, Vieira did well to position himself inside his full back before stepping out when Pellegrini joined the attack.

Alongside Vieira’s intensity, he showed a great ability to time tackles, arriving and sticking a leg out at the perfect time to break up Cagliari attacks. There was also a few points where the makeshift right back Morten Thorsby would attempt to venture forward, and Vieira showed the intelligence to fill in at the right back position.

The downside to Vieira’s match was when he was on the ball, too often he was caught hesitating before releasing the ball leading to Cagliari regaining possession. He would spend too long scanning the pitch for options, unaware of the space around him and the incoming Cagliari defenders, often wasting valuable Sampdoria counter attacks. A further downside to Vieira’s on ball ability was his inconsistencies when it came to delivering a cross into the box, although it is rarely a trait for a central midfielder, he had a few opportunities to deliver crosses and only managed one good quality cross.

Overall I think this performance highlighted Vieira’s defensive qualities, showing he is more than capable of playing in a low block and being a solid defensive option. He left a little to be desired on the ball however when a team is constantly under the cosh it could be expected that when they finally get the chance to attack that they are wasteful.

Rating – A2

Emil Audero

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 13/04/1999
  • Current Club: Sampdoria
  • Career: Juventus (Y), Venezia (L), Sampdoria (L), Sampdoria
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Preferred foot: Right

Audero had a fairly quiet first half with Cagliari struggling to deal with the low block of Sampdoria, comfortably dealing with a couple of crosses and firmly holding onto some poorly hit shots from outside the box. With Sampdoria looking to defend deep, Audero did a good job of relieving pressure on the defence by holding onto the ball and directing the backline, before composing himself and distributing the ball.

Unfortunately, Audero had a second half to forget, conceding four goals, albeit three of them were from close range. Cagliari’s equaliser is what lead me to question Audero however, as Radja Nainggolan fired in a shot from the edge of the box that he had a view of the whole way, but did not move his feet quick enough to be able to stop the ball nestling in the net.

In terms of distribution from dead balls, Audero is able to consistently fire the ball past the centre circle, with a good level of accuracy. However when put under pressure in open play, Audero tended to swipe the ball into touch more regularly than I would expect. On the whole it was a poor day for Audero, however it is difficult to judge a goalkeeper in a game where he had little help from his defence.

Rating – C

Jakub Jankto

  • Nationality: Czech
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 19/01/1996
  • Current Club: Sampdoria
  • Career: Slavia Prague (Y), Udinese, Ascoli (L), Sampdoria
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Left Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Jankto is on the other end of the physical spectrum to Vieira, being a more sleight, gangly build as opposed to the stocky build of the Englishman. However this does not make him any worse of a player, although this game was not the best performance from the Czech Republic international.

With Sampdoria preferring to play deep, Jankto’s tasks throughout this game were to double up on the Cagliari winger and to block and crosses from deep. He performed these tasks well for the most part, something that his long limbs helped him with. Sadly, when Jankto failed to close down a couple of crosses from the right side, they lead to easy goals for the opposition.

Once Sampdoria won the ball back, Jankto often attempted to make a marauding run down the left hand side to provide the defence with an outlet and a base to build attacks from. He worked the width well, finding himself in good positions numerous times, unfortunately his end product was nothing short of poor.

Overall a poor performance from Jankto, being practically invisible in the first half and not offering much in the second half when he eventually got on the ball.

Rating – C


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