Gattuso’s Napoli came out as 2-0 winners but were quite fortunate. Verona had a goal ruled our by VAR that was extremely harsh and had a good game overall. Verona played an interesting system, employing a 3-4-3, using Kumbulla as a sweeper and a strict man-to-man pressing system. It was a game with a lot of space in midfield as shown below and an interesting tactical setup from Verona that I plan on watching again soon. They used switches of play, wanted to exploit space out wide and Napoli’s high line. They counter pressed and attacked space quickly but weren’t able to penetrate the box enough, they had one huge chance that they somehow missed from a few yards and should have scored.
- 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
- Nationality: Moroccan
- Age: 23
- Date of birth: 21/08/1996
- Current Club: Hellas Verona, on loan from Fiorentina
- Career: FC Utrecht (Y), Feyenoord, Club Brugge, Hella Verona (L), Fiorentina, Hellas Verona (L)
- Position: Centre Midfield
- Preferred foot: Right
Amrabat had a really strong game playing in the midfield two, playing as the deeper of the two. He was extremely elegant on the ball showing great press resistance. He’s 6’1″ with a decent frame and quite stocky build. Despite his build he had excellent agility and able to get low to the ground with the ball to make sharp turns and use feints to resist pressure and create space. He showed great awareness to then play out of pressure. He manoeuvred the ball really well and retained the ball for his team.
He showed a great range range of passing, able to spread play with diagonals and switches of play. He was able to find the wing backs in space and start dangerous attacks. He was able to drive into space and carry at the defence. He showed a good burst of pace and was able to change speeds well to drive at the defence, draw in defenders and then spread it wide. He received in space really well on the turn, and then able to drive into space and spread play.
He showed good work rate and stamina to track back and good strength in the challenge. He was aggression in the challenge and was strong in shoulder to shoulder situations, including a needless late shoulder barge on an opposition midfielder. He worked hard throughout to man-mark in midfield and also was good at lurking in the midfield, positioned behind attackers to jump in when they try to receive the ball. He scanned constantly off the ball and was able to play with a quick tempo.
Rating – A1
Amrabat was Verona’s best player on the day, he was excellent all round with good passing, technical ability, ball progression and pressing. He was impressively athletic and I wish I had more critique of him but I was really impressed with his dominant display. He also showed good intelligence in and out of possession.
- Nationality: Albanian
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 08/02/2000
- Current Club: Hellas Verona
- Career: Hellas Verona
- Position: Centre Back
- Preferred foot: Right
Kumbulla played as the central centre back in Verona’s back three, playing the sweeper role. He’s 6’1″ with a broad frame but is fairly lightweight but could fill out into a physical defender. He was strong in the air though and showed good strength.
In possession, he was a lot deeper than the rest of the team as shown below. He played simple passes to Amrabat or his wide centre halves. His touch was okay but could have been smoother. He did well under pressure and kept it simple, retaining possession with smooth passes but could have been more crisp. Amrabat dropped very deep to receive from him and Kumbulla could have been more adventurous in trying to progress the ball and didn’t test his range of passing in this match.
Out of possession they kept a compact back line and defended in a 5-4-1. Even then he was often behind the defensive line by a few metres with some odd positioning but it didn’t cost them and he showed good intelligence to adjust his positioning to the situation to set the offside line. He covered long balls well, having a head start due to his positioning but had average pace and acceleration but did fairly well overall. He was fairly passive in his defending and was largely protected by the outside centre halves. He only stepped out of the line a few times and used his body well to be physical from behind.
Rating – B2
Overall, he had a fairly good game but didn’t show anything special. He did well under pressure and in the air but didn’t stand out. However that can be a good thing for a centre half and I nearly went for an A2. Definitely one to watch again and would like him to try more on the ball.