Cagliari – match report vs Bologna 01/07/20

This is a guest piece by Alexander Rudies.

Cagliari were fortunate to come away with a point against Bologna. They defended in a 5-3-2 middle block and sometimes switched into a low block as well. They were very passive and gave away key spaces that Bologna were able to play into. Offensively most dangerous moments were created through individual dribbling or after winning the ball. Only their chance conversation was better than Bologna’s.


  • 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

Andrea Carboni

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 04/02/2001
  • Current club: Cagliari
  • Career: Cagliari
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Carboni got his second consecutive start for Cagliari after getting his first minutes in Serie A when he was subbed on two matches ago. He played as the left centre back in Cagliari’s back three. After an injury to Luca Ceppitelli he moved to the central position.

The 19-year-old looked good on the ball. He was calm, even under pressure and always looked to find a team mate instead of just passing high and long. When he had time on the ball, he mainly played safe short passes. When he spotted gaps in Bologna’s midfield he also made some promising line-breaking passes. His only weakness was that he sometimes tries to not use his weaker right foot which makes him easier to get pressed. This doesn’t happen that often when plays on the left side but more often when he’s positioned centrally.

Defensively he impressed by his excellent reading of the game. The Italian had by far the most clearances of all players in this match (9). He knew when he had to step out of defence to put pressure on an opponent and when he had to stay back. When he switched to the central part of the back three he already organised it. Carboni managed to deal with the fluid movements of Bologna’s offence. He didn’t over space in behind and showed a great sense of positioning that helped him not to get into too many duels. In those duels he had his only bad moments. At the beginning of the match he overcommitted twice and committed two fouls resulting in a yellow card. Since then he looked very mature so it needs to be seen if this was more because of nervousness or if it’s a weakness in his game.

Overall this was a very promising second career start for a young center back. Carboni showed a lot of potential and doesn’t look out of place at all.

Rating – A2

Sebastian Walukiewicz

 Player profile:

  • Nationality: Polish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 05/04/2000
  • Current club: Cagliari Calcio
  • Career: Legia Warsaw (Y), Pogon Szczecin, Cagliari
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Walukiewicz started his third match in a row for Cagliari after only starting four total matches this whole season. He played as the right centre back in the back three. The polish U21 international has a big presence on the pitch. He’s not very tall (1.88m) but has a lot of muscle mass and a good timing at air duels. In direct duels he proved to be hard to beat. He also positions himself intelligently. The only problem that might come up is that he is neither very agile nor fast. In Cagliari’s deep back line that didn’t cause any problems but if he’s asked to play higher up the pitch it could.

When he had the ball, he seemed mature. He used his body well to shield the ball away from opponents. Walukiewicz rarely gave the ball away. He even played some good passes behind Bologna’s press. Cagliari didn’t have much possession so it’s hard to judge his passing ability but it looks like he has some qualities as a passer.

Walukiewicz had a rather quiet game which isn’t bad for a defender. While he has impressed it still remains to be seen if he can finally establish himself a year after joining Cagliari.

Rating – B2

Luca Pellegrini

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Italian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 07/03/1999
  • Current club: Cagliari Calcio
  • Career: AS Roma, Cagliari (L), Juve, Cagliari (L)
  • Position: Left Back
  • Secondary Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Pellegrini was used as the left wing back for Cagliari. He created the most danger of his whole team offensively. Of his main strengths is his pace. If he accelerates most players won’t be able to keep pace with him. The faster he dribbles the worse his control of the ball gets though. He has a great understanding of the game and likes to make underlapping runs when a team mate already occupies the wing. He creates a lot of chaos with these runs. You can see why he was sometimes used in midfield for Italy’s youth teams. He shines in the passing game. Contrary to a lot of other fast full backs he isn’t confined to crosses but also has the ability to set up his team mates through passes into dangerous spaces.

The thing holding him back at the moment is his defending. He didn’t have much 1v1s in this game but still lost most of them. He wasn’t able to guide the attacker to his weaker foot or come close enough to tackle him. He often starts in positions that lead to him having a disadvantage in the following duel.

If he improves defensively, Pellegrini can become a quality player. Right now he is limited to the role as a wing back due to his defensive shortcomings.

Rating – B1

Marko Rog

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Croatian
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 19/07/1995
  • Current club: Cagliari Calcio
  • Career: NK Varazdin, RNK Split, Dinamo Zagreb, SSC Napoli, Sevilla (L), Cagliari
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Together with Pellegrini Rog was the bright spot in Cagliari´s offense. The Croatian played as the left centre midfielder. He has some great scenes that showcased his dribbling ability and burst. Rog has a low center of gravity, is very agile, can switch directions quickly and is hard to tackle. Often he could only be stopped through fouls and caused one yellow card for Bologna that way. He is press resistant and has a good vision that makes it easy for him to avoid his nearest opponents.

However, there are downfalls to his game that are the reason he didn´t quite work out at Napoli. His main problem is his reluctancy to use his left foot. He tries almost everything to avoid using it which makes him easier to predict for defenders and reduces his passing option. Adding to that he isn´t able to reward himself at the end of his dribblings. He has problems scanning the field while on the ball and therefore can´t pass into the spaces he opens through his dribbling abilities.

Another weakness is his defending. He isn´t strong physically and looses a lot of duels. His timing is also in need of improvement. In his position in this game he had a huge defensive responsibility to close the space in front of the back three which he failed to do consistently. He has problems covering big spaces.

All those difficulties make Marko Rog a frustrating to player watch that can always have on genius moment but fails to make to most of his ability.

Rating – C

Nahitan Nandez

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Uruguayan
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 28/12/1995
  • Current Club: Calgliari
  • Career: Peñarol, Boca Juniors, Cagliari

Nandez doesn’t have the flashy plays to offer like Marko Rog, his style is more defensive. As the right centre midfielder he worked hard to close down spaces and came up with the most interceptions of all players in the game (4). Standing at 1.72m he is quite short and not that physical but still hard to beat due to his relentlessness. Defensively he basically does what you expect from a hard-working Uruguayan.

Offensively he likes to mainly uses dynamic runs to cover a lot of ground. He struggles to make a creative impact though. He needs space to incorporate his runs usefully. You rarely see passes into small windows of through balls played by him. His dribbling is also rather underwhelming. His ball control isn’t consistently good and he has a few bad touches per match. Nandez rarely beats a man 1v1.

In the last twenty minutes he was moved to play at right wing back. He instantly had a bigger offensive impact. The Uruguayan ran down his wing and delivered a great cross. With more space in front of him he looked way more comfortable.

This takes us to the important question: Is there a position where he can fulfil his defensive and offensive potential to the fullest extent? It’s hard to believe that but Nandez is still a very solid player in the Serie A.

Rating – B1

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