Bologna – match report vs Cagliari 01/07/20

This is a guest piece by Alexander Rudies.

Bologna only got a point at home against Cagliari Calcio. They dominated the game, had more possession, shots and better chances. The team of manager Sinisa Mihajlovic used a fluid 4-3-3 in possession with a lot of interesting positional rotations that created space between the lines for Musa Barrow and Rodrigo Palacio to exploit. To concede from the only big chance Cagliari had all game and only converting one of their many opportunities the draw must feel like a loss.


  • 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

Musa Barrow

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Gambian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 14/11/1998
  • Current club: Bologna
  • Career: Hawks Banjul FC (Y), Atalanta Bergamo, Bologna
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Musa Barrow continued his good form for Bologna since joining them from Atalanta in the winter transfer window. In Bergamo he was mostly used a striker that was send deep behind the opponents last line. He showed great pace but was also very one dimensional in his game. This changed under Mihajlovic.

Barrow played as left winger. Instead of sprinting behind Cagliaris defence he positioned himself in the left half space and between the lines. He showed a great sense of positioning and received a lot of passes in the final third. After receiving those passes his decision making was okay. He took a few long rang shots which aren’t one of his strengths. Barrow was able to create much more danger by attempting through passes though. One of them was only just defended. It resulted in him getting the rebound and scoring the first goal of the game. Overall he had a positive impact in the passing game. A few of his long passes were misplaced but his short passing was really impressive, especially given his background as a one-dimensional striker.

His ball control was another positive. He managed to keep the ball close to his body even at a higher pace. With 1,84m he´s not that small but still very agile and able to quickly change position and tempo. He doesn´t have a lot of muscle mass which can be a problem against physical defenders.

While there are still some things to improve on, mainly chance conversion, Musa Barrow definitely showed a lot of potential at a position he only recently learned. If he continues to develop in a promising Bologna team he should be able to make the next step in the near future.

Rating – A2

Takehiro Tomiyasu

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 05/11/1998
  • Current club: Bologna
  • Career: Avispa Fukuoka, VV St. Truiden, Bologna
  • Position: Right Back
  • Secondary Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Just like Barrow Tomiyasu switched position after arriving at Bologna in the last summer. He played as a centre back at St. Truiden but was moved to right back in Italy. In possession he often positions himself deep forming a back three with the two centre backs. He still had an important impact in his team’s offense. The Japanese excelled at passing out from the back. He looked composed under pressure and played some great, line-breaking, slightly diagonal passes between the lines for Rodrigo Palacio or Musa Barrow. No player played more passes than his 62 (83.9% accuracy). A few times he got involved further up the pitch. He didn’t seem that comfortable in these spaces but still managed to combine well with his team mates.

Defensively there wasn’t much to do for him. He positioned himself well and didn’t have to engage in many duels. If he had to, he was usually calm at tackling and didn’t commit many fouls. In this game one weakness of his was exploited. He isn’t very fast for a full back and can be overrun by a faster winger. This lead to him having to make one tactical foul for which he received a yellow card and another very risky tackle which could have seen him send off.

Tomiyasu didn’t have his best game defensively but he was a key player in possession. It will be interesting to see whether he has his long term future at centre or right back.

Rating – A2

Jerdy Schouten

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 12/01/1997
  • Current club: Bologna
  • Career: ADO Den Haag, Telstar, Excelsior Rotterdam, Bologna
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Schouten played as a left centre midfielder in Bologna’s midfield three. While the right centre midfielder Roberto Soriano often drifted to the wing Schouten remained centrally and dropped a little deeper sometimes. He circulated the ball with his team mates until there were open spaces further up the pitch.

Schouten’s playing style isn’t very spectacular. He plays mostly short, safe passes and doesn’t like to take risks. While he rarely misplaces passes he isn’t able to break lines with his passing. Under pressure he is able to keep the ball. One of his main qualities is his pressing resistance. The 23 year old is surprisingly agile and has a good acceleration which both helps him to escape tight spaces. His dribbling ability is good but, again, he doesn’t like to take risks so he won’t take one more than one opponent before passing the ball.

Jerdy Schouten didn’t have a bad game at all but it’s a little sad to see a lot of promising scenes but not him trying to use all his potential. If he continues like this, he can be an average player in the Serie A however I think he is capable of becoming more than this.

Rating – B2

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