05.12.2013 16:19 - in: Serie A S

      Rossoblu at the Dall’Ara

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      Bologna’s victory over Livorno in late October ended a winless home run that stretched back to March, but it’s the only one they have managed at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara this season

      Serie A

      After losing 3-0 away to Napoli on the opening day, Bologna did manage to get a point on the board in their first home fixture against Sampdoria.

      The visitors quickly bounced back from defeat to Juventus to go 1-0 up, but Davide Moscardelli tapped in from point blank range to draw the Rossoblu level. Panagiotis Kone then caught an overhead kick perfectly and it flew past Angelo da Costa, but in the end Manolo Gabbiadini spoiled the party with an equally good 30-yard free-kick.

      Next to visit the Dall’Ara were Torino, and they emerged with all three points. After the Granata had taken the lead within two minutes, Bologna defender Cesare Natali fortuitously drew them level as a rebound struck him on the knee and went in. But Alessio Cerci’s penalty meant the hosts required a comeback that Natali’s sending off made too difficult to achieve.

      The following week, the Rossoblu welcomed Milan to Emilia-Romagna. It looked like it was going to be a dream victory for Stefano Pioli’s men when they found themselves 3-1 up on 62 minutes thanks to a Diego Laxalt brace and a further strike from Jonathan Cristaldo, but the Rossoneri rescued themselves in the dying stages to salvage a draw.

      There was more disappointment to come a fortnight later as Hellas Verona ran out 4-1 winners at the Dall’Ara.

      Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci was unable to prevent two long-range strikes, an intricate third and a deflected fourth goal finding their way past him. In a game during which a number of other Verona chances also went begging, Alessandro Diamanti’s penalty turned out to be the only saving grace.

      Having not had a win at home since 3 March (and without a victory at all in 2013/14), three points finally arrived on October 27 with a 1-0 triumph over Livorno. After celebrating Jose Angel Crespo’s opener, the home fans then endured a nail-biting ride as they waited to see if their team could hold on. But Pioli’s men didn’t disappoint this time, and the weight off their shoulders was finally lifted.

      Having been trounced by Hellas Verona earlier on in the campaign, Bologna fared better against Verona’s other major team, Chievo. It wasn’t to be another win, but the Rossoblu added a further point to their tally as the game finished goalless at the Dall’Ara.

      A draw was also the final result when Bologna last walked out at their home ground in Serie A against Inter.

      Kone slotted an opener past Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic after a well-worked counter attack, and it was only a deflected effort by Jonathan which denied them victory over the Nerazzurri. Inter were unfortunate not to win it at the death, though, as Juan Jesus’ effort struck the bar late on.  

      Tactical Analysis

      With last year’s go-to man in attack, Alberto Gilardino, having moved to Genoa over the summer, the focus of play has changed, and a wider range of Rossoblu players have found the net this season as part of the 3-4-2-1 formation preferred by Pioli.

      Diego Laxalt, Panagiotis Kone, Davide Moscardelli, Alessandro Diamanti, Jose Angel Crespo, Rolando Bianchi, Cesare Natali, Jonathan Cristaldo, Gyorgy Garics and Michele Pazienza have all scored for Bologna.

      The 2013/14 Rossoblu side’s true weapon so far has been their capabilities in the air. They have netted four headers in total, though on Friday they face a Juve team who have yet to concede one.

      Greek Panagiotis Kone represents a threat because of the variety of goals he is capable of scoring: he has found the net with a spectacular overhead-kick, two poacher’s finishes inside the area and a half-volley dispatched into the corner from 25 yards.  

      Apart from Marek Hamsik, no other midfielder has scored more goals from open play than his four, and the team have never lost so far when he has been on the scoresheet.

      Juventus will have to be wary of Alessandro Diamanti’s clinical abilities from dead-ball situations. The Rossoblu captain has converted two penalties and a free-kick so far.

      But Bologna have failed to register more shots than their opposition in any home game, and only on one occasion at the Dall’Ara – the 0-0 draw with Chievo Verona – have they enjoyed a greater share of the possession.

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