Napoli Survives Against Bologna: Match Review and Player Ratings

After the aftermath in Milan, Napoli would hit the pitch against Bologna at home. The last match of the year, it was important for Napoli to end 2018 on the right note. Napoli, of course, lost their best two Players due to suspension in Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly. For Ancelotti, he would have to find a way to replace those key pieces.

Ancelotti Would stick with the 4-4-2, using the best players he had at his disposal. Bologna would use a 3-5-2 to attempt to attack Napoli as much as possible, with Koulibaly out Napoli seemed unconfident I’m the back and played deeper, giving space to the Bologna attack.

Bologna would start off fast by getting opportunities on the attack, and taking advantage of set pieces that Inzaghi values very much. In a match that would go back and forth, Napoli would score first thanks to a heads-up play by Milik in the 15th minute. After Bologna would tie 15 minutes later, Arkadiusz Milik found a second goal in the 51st minute. Bologna would answer right back, Dries Mertens would notch the Match winner for Napoli, via a final score of 3-2.

Goalkeeper

Alex Meret- 6.5

Mister Ancelotti has entrusted Alex Meret more and more as the top Goalkeeper. It’s now back to back starts for the young Italian keeper. He would play well for Napoli, despite having a difficult task in stopping a motivated Bologna attack. Both goals came on miscommunication on set pieces.

Defenders

Kevin Malcuit- 6.5

First start for Malcuit since the Cagliari Match three weeks ago. He played excellent although he did not make those wide runs that he usually makes. He would have a beautiful assist on the Milik goal.

Raul Albiol- 5.5

It seemed like the absence of Koulibaly affected Albiol, as he did not have his best match of the season. He would be the culprit of the second goal as he got outmanned by Bologna’s Danilo.

Nikola Maksimovic- 5

Makso would also not have his best performance. He would be back to his natural Center Back position with Koulibaly out with a suspension. He would hold his own but unfortunately would be the culprit of the first goal, as he made a bad adjustment and Bologna’s Federico Santander Would take advantage.

Faouzi Ghoulam- 6

Ghoulam was much needed for this match with Koulibaly out. He solidifies one side of the pitch. He would tend to be the outlet option out in the flank for Verdi who was atop of him in the Midfield. Overall a solid performance by the Algerian.

Midfield

Jose Callejon- 5

Callejón was able to not only get the start but wore the Captain’s band. Unlike most matches he didn’t hurt Napoli, he did have an opportunity but of course, couldn’t capitalize.  He held his own but Ancelotti has no choice but to continue using Callejón in matches like this.

Piotr Zielinski- 5.5

He had solid match has he again was crucial in the battle of the Midfield. He hasn’t played this role much this season but Ancelotti had him playing in a central midfield role-playing deep and was a big help in their own end defensively.

Michael Allan- 5.5

A Lot of responsibility for Allan as per usual, and he held down the Midfield again. Would also be part of the attack and even got a shot off. Good performance by the Brazilian.

Simone Verdi- 6

It would be the first match back for Verdi since October. He seemed sharp and hasn’t lost a step. He would play out wide but would constantly look to attack inside. Expect Ancelotti to go with him often with him being fit, good match overall by Verdi.

Forwards

Dries Mertens- 6.5

With Insigne out, a lot more pressure would be on Mertens to help with the attack. He played well giving Bologna fits all match long. He would get the match-winning goal in the 88th minute by nailing a low shot that took a bad bounce on the goalkeeper.

Arkadiusz Milik- 7

Milik may have finally found his stride. He’s been playing great soccer for the last month. With Insigne out, he has become the go-to guy for scoring. He would get two goals in the match, just the threat of his big body gives Napoli a different look.

Substitutions

Fabian Ruiz- 6.5

With Verdi still coming back from injury, Ancelotti Would be pleased with what he saw and subbed Fabian in the 58th minute. He would play well as per usual. He assisted on the match-winning goal to Mertens.

Mario Rui- 5

He came in the 68th minute for Faouzi Ghoulam, who Ancelotti is tracking his minutes. He came in late which limited his opportunity to make a mistake, he would play well.

Adam Ounas- 5.5

He would sub in for Jose Callejon in the 83rd minute. Wasn’t a lot of time but for Ounas any minute he receives he must take full advantage of it. He would play well as his skill has been easily noticed.

Up next

For Napoli, it would be a tougher match then most expected. Koulibaly missing was evident on the pitch. They Head into holiday now, we won’t see the group for two weeks. They still trail Juve by nine points but there is still a lot of Calcio to be played. Transfer window also opens January first so it’ll be interesting if Napoli does anything during the period. When Napoli return they will have Coppa Italia match against Sassuolo before their Serie A match against Lazio.  

John Zapata

John Zapata

Serie A Table Writer at Sports Talk Line
YouTuber transitioning to the blogging world! Growing as a writer with the beautiful game of soccer in america. Also very knowledgeable in the game of Football.

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