Serie A strugglers Udinese and Genoa met at the Stadio Friuli with both sides desperate for a win. As such, the game was a cagey affair with neither side willing to take many risks. It was Udinese who triumphed with a narrow 1-0 win but, it would be difficult to claim either side deserved to win. Both sides deployed cautious 5-3-2’s and were quick to retreat into their compact defensive shapes. Neither team showed any urgency to press the opposition, while neither moved the ball quick enough to pose a threat on the counter. Udinese captain, Rodrigo De Paul, scored the decisive goal with a well-struck shot from the edge of the box midway through the first half.
Similarly, the second half was another slow and circumspect affair. Genoa pushed their wing backs, Pellegrini and Ghiglione, further forward but still lacked much impetus and so struggled to create any meaningful chances. Content with their lead, I Friulani began to slow the game down and break quickly on the counter. De Paul almost finished the game with a free-kick that cannoned off the bar. Deep into stoppage time, Scamacca thought he had salvaged a point, but VAR spotted a narrow offside which left Genoa empty handed. A frustrating day for Il Grifone was compounded as their goalkeeper, Mattia Perin, was handed a straight red card for reckless challenge which prevented a certain second goal for Udinese.
- 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: Italian
- Age: 21
- Date of Birth: 1/1/1999
- Current Club: Genoa (L)
- Career: Jong PSV, Sassuolo, Cremonese (L), PEC Zwolle (L), Ascoli (L), Genoa (L)
- Position: Striker
- Preferred foot: Right
Gianluca Scamacca has had a superb to his loan spell in Genoa, with five goal contributions in as many games. He has provided a bright spark in what has been a drab start to the season for Italy’s oldest club. Today he partnered veteran striker and Macedonian hero, Goran Pandev, and displayed why he could be crucial to Il Grifone retaining their Serie A status.
From today it was evident that Scamacca has a clear skill set and style of play. A strong and powerful striker, standing at 6’4, the young Italian is the epitome of a target man. Generally, he tended to play with his back to goal and looked to receive the ball to feet. He made effective of his arms to keep his opponent at bay without committing a foul. He has a solid first touch which allows him to hold up the ball up and bring others into play. Regularly, he stopped the ball dead before laying it off to a teammate and displayed a range lay offs with flicks and deft touches. In addition, he possess a good jump and so is able to contest high balls well and provide knock downs for his teammates.
Although, he is not the most elegant dribbler and appeared rather clumsy when actually running with the ball. At times, he held onto the ball too long; he occasionally decided to turn and run at the opposition when a simple lay off would have been more effective. Furthermore, his lack of pace compounds this issue. He is particularly sluggish over the first few yards, which hinders him both in and out of possession.
He struggled for chances today, but this was largely the result of an overall lack of service to the strikers. The two shots he managed today were both skewed wide as he focused on generating power and so sacrificed accuracy. However, he did well to turn the defender and create a chance out of nothing for his second shot. In the final seconds of the game Scamacca thought he had saved Genoa by turning home a lose ball in the box, only for VAR to spot had strayed marginally offside. Despite being ruled out this ‘goal’ demonstrated the Italians danger inside the box as he showed clever movement to get in front of his marker.
Scamacca is certainly not the most dynamic striker and is definitely suited to a more direct system. But, he plays to his strengths and is highly effective at what he does. For his age, his hold up play is very accomplished. In terms of style, from the eye test at least, he reminded me of Olivier Giroud but perhaps with less finesse than the Frenchman who has arguably been one of the best hold up strikers in the past decade.
Rating – A2
- Nationality: Italian
- Age: 21
- Date of Birth: 07/03/1999
- Current Club: Genoa, on loan from Juventus
- Career: Roma, Cagliari (L), Juventus, Cagliari (L), Genoa (L)
- Position: Left Back
- Secondary Position: Left Wing
- Preferred foot: Left
Fresh from making his Azzuri debut, Luca Pellegrini lined up at left wing-back for Genoa today. Offensively, he looked to hug the touchline and provide an attacking outlet on the left. When his side lost possession, he was quick to get back into defensive shape which typically involved him tucking in close to the left centre-back as part of a narrow back five. He was given slightly more freedom in the second half and took up a higher position in an attempt to grab an equaliser. In these areas, he made few good overlapping runs and showed good technique to whip some dangerous crosses into the box but ultimately could not create an opening for his side.
Defensively, he is a clean tackler, particularly in slide tackles, which is a handy trait for any defender to have. He was rarely threatened in 1v1 situations due to the cautious of nature of both sides’ play and the lack of a natural wide opponent. In the second half Udinese’s wing backs were very risk-averse meaning Pellegrini never really found himself in too much trouble. Physically, he is a standard 5’10 and has a fairly average build. As a result, he looked uninspiring in physical contests and regularly came off second best in these moments. His pace is decent, but he was slow to close down his man and put them under serious pressure. Consequently, he gave the opposition time to turn and pick a pass or run at him, wingers with excessive pace and guile in Serie A may thrive against Pellegrini.
Overall, Pellegrini had a stable game. There was nothing about his game today that particularity stood out but there were no massively concerning aspects. It would be helpful to see Pellegrini in a game where the opposition frequently look to test his defensive ability. While it will be interesting to see how much attacking output he can produce this season in a Genoa side who are clearly quite stale going forward.
Rating – B1