Sassuolo – Match Report vs. Bologna (22-12-2021)

Sassuolo played Bologna on the 19th matchday of Serie A 2021/22.  It was the final match before the winter break taking place, which will see play resume in 2 weeks time. Sassuolo set up in a 4-3-3 with Scamacca being the focal point up front and generally an attacking feel to the side. They had a counter-attacking fast-paced feel to the play in the first half but looked flat after conceding the goals in the first half. It seemed as if they were relying on a bit of brilliance that was not forthcoming. Bologna ended up seeing out the win and got a 3rd deep in additional time to kill the tie off 0-3. 

Ratings:

  • 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, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Gianluca Scamacca 

  • Nationality: Italian 
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 01/01/1999
  • Current club: Sassuolo 
  • Career: Roma, PSV, Genoa (loan)
  • Position: Striker 
  • Preferred foot: Right

Gianluca Scamacca played as a target-man who was tasked with spearheading attacks from smart lay-offs and balls round the corner to onrushing centre midfielders. The big striker had one real clear-cut chance in the first half where he ran down the side of the opposing centre back and arrowed a shot across the goalkeeper, forcing a great save from Bologna’s keeper to push it onto the post. From this he showed his eye for goal and his ability to generate a powerful side-footed strike with little backlift. Scamacca looks to get his team up the pitch, especially from goal-kicks. 

Scamacca made use of the space in front of him well by dropping off his markers and coming short to lay off and combine with midfielders well. Defensively he contained and cut passing lines well, showing good body orientation to cut potential dangerous passes between the lines and force opposition defenders out-wide. Situations arose when Sassuolo were chasing the game and when there were little options where Scamacca would pick the ball up and drive at defenders in the final 3rd and look to unleash strikes at goal, strikes that either went wayward or into keepers grasp.

Scamacca generally played quite centrally and occupied 2 centre-backs due to size. He is not afraid to run the channels (from the aforementioned chance) and he receives well on the turn. When Sassuolo in crossing positions he will look to the front post to stoop for headers or use his size to get in front of opposition defenders and look for midfield runners to lay-off too. 

Scamacca’s long, gangly frame means he is quite clumsy especially when running with the ball. The ball can sometimes get caught under his feet. Despite being a big guy he turns with real power and poise. He is a powerful striker and he uses his body well but does have quite an awkward feel to him, especially when he is spinning away from opposition defenders. Physical in the challenge and in the final stages his head seemed to go, was reckless in challenges towards the end despite being measured all game. 

Rating – A2

He has been linked to a host of clubs in Italy since his successful loan spell at Genoa last season and I think going to a bigger club where he can learn off players like Morata at Juventus for example would be good for him. I think going to a higher club in Serie A would be the best bet for him. He does need refining but he has the technicalities and desire to succeed. 

Jeremie Boga

  • Nationality: Ivorian 
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 03/01/1997
  • Current club: Sassuolo
  • Career: Chelsea
  • Position: Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Jeremie Boga played a bit-part role in this game vs Bologna. Started off as a narrow left midfielder that looked to cut in on his stronger right foot at all times. This was before being subbed off at half-time due to his recent injury. The Ivorian found it easy cutting inside, particularly due to his fantastic close control and dribbling ability. He looked to receive the ball whereby he could turn and face up the opposition defender and look to play balls into Scamacca or recycle it backwards. 

The Ivorian is a tricky winger who has a low centre of gravity to aid his obvious ball control. His running beyond RCB was good and was through on one occasion but the ball was not weighted correctly and Bologna’s CB cut it out. He will generally look inside but he has the pace to run beyond and this time did attack the RCB on the outside. He has the trickery to face defenders up although this did not come off every time. On one occasion he was dispossessed in the midfield and showed urgency to win it back off the back of his mistake. Early on his trickery did look threatening as he jinked inside to play a little reverse ball to the overlapping full-back who was just fractionally offside in the early stages. This combination play was particularly encouraging in the few minutes Boga was on. 

Defensively Boga lacked any real intensity in pressing/closing down crossing opportunities. He looked a little lethargic and obviously needs more game-time to get him used to the pace of the Serie A again. Boga relied on LCM to do defensive duties for him and help out the LB to close the space that was available behind Boga. 

Physically he is small, stocky and quick. Makes for a good winger in getting the team up the pitch and suits Sassuolo’s counter-attacking style nicely. He has quick feet to bypass challenges when facing defenders up and can spring other players into the game. His transitioning game was good and broke with real intensity when asked, although did not look fully comfortable in taking players on their outside, where he had the potential to use his left foot. Did not look comfortable on his left. 

Rating – B2

Davide Frattesi

  • Nationality: Italian 
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 22/09/1999
  • Current club: Sassuolo 
  • Career: Roma, Sassuolo 
  • Position: Centre Midfielder 
  • Preferred foot: Right 

Frattesi plays on the right of a midfield three and predominantly plays off his late bursts into the box. He is an expert ball carrier and makes progressive runs throughout the game, in this game vs Bologna he was the sides most constant attacking threat. His vision and awareness was fantastic and is clearly not happy in staying put to his position on the right side of midfield. 

Amongst running centrally beyond Scamacca he also opened the pitch up by running wide and running the channels creating space for Berardi (RM) in particular to drift infield and shoot. He has good decision-making and energy to cut supply lines and get back from advanced positions to revert back into defensive shape. He is an intelligent player who cleans up the ball well when in defensive third and will only make forward runs when he analyses the situation and they are in the final 3rd. These off-the-ball runs were well directed and with real pace, taking the game to the opposition. 

He makes options for the team to either pass through the lines to him and creates space well. When he picks the ball up defensively he always looks forward with a tendency to play the ball out wide, he has an air of calm about him when he’s on the ball. Looked relaxed and never panicked on the ball. He shields the ball well and drew fouls when breaking with the ball. 

Physically he is not the biggest but he has running power and real strength on the ball when he is running directly at the opposition. Has fantastic stamina and positional awareness too. Frattesi has a nice energy to his game and the nimbleness to feint to go one way when driving at opposition and quickly turn the other way to either shoot at goal/play a pass. He is clearly happiest when there is space in front of him, this means where he has attacking license (which he did) he can really thrive and take the game to the opposition. However, he is not afraid to receive the ball with his back to goal and controls well especially on the turn/half-turn. 

On one occasion he did not look too composed when in front of goal. This was when he ran with the ball and directly attacked the opposition defenders using good close control and powerful running ability. This was made through combination play, which is something he thrives off and fashioned this chance. He will pass and move at all levels. His good close control made for good combination play especially when he ran beyond the RM, getting players into favourable positions. His passing is fantastic also, has good punchy weight to his balls and were threaded through the lines very nicely. 

Rating – A2

Frattesi clearly has a high ceiling and will be on the radar of many top clubs. He is a fantastic ‘number 8’ who is a clear goal threat, has the energy to get back and has the beating of a man. I think he will be at a Serie A top 4 club next year. 

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