Always nice to start the season off with a win. Feels like we picked up from where we left off.
A pity Ibra couldn't get a perfect hat-trick after great play from Hakan on the counter. His touch let him down before shooting with his left.
Calabria has grown so much. We don't need a right back, unless Pioli has no confidence in Conti/Kalulu as back-ups.
Pioli was bold with his substitutes and it definitely put us under a bit of pressure, as Bologna brought fresh legs in to the game. We we a bit fortunate that we didn't concede. At 2-1 it could have been a very nervous final few minutes and always the chance of a late equaliser. However, didn't happen, so in the end good that Kjaer and Hakan got some rest (and a little for Bennacer).
Diaz... wow. What a talent, with so much confidence to match.
Tonali will need time. Clearly not in sync, but you wouldn't expect him to be. Needs to adapt to Pioli's tactics. Compared to Krunic, who is very in-tune with Pioli's system. Dumb yellow card aside, he immediately slotted in to the midfield and played well in the few minutes he had.
I do not think Saelemakers is as bad as many of you guys think. He runs and works a lot and is quite good in build up play in attack. Quite a useful player even if not top class...
Diaz looks like the real deal, just needs some more playing time.
Tonali has struggled a bit, but might be too early for him yet. Looks a bit heavy. I do not see him as a alternative to Bennacer.. Bennacer just offers more and is so good at turning play and skipping past players and creating numerical advantages. Like having a Messi in midfield(ok, I'm a massive fan of Bennacer...)
I agree, Oni. Sometimes Alexis does make the wrong decision. He has frustrating moments. But also as you say his workrate and movement are very good, and technically he is decent if not top class. Considering his age there is room for improvement, so we may have made a steal by signing him.
Also agreed regarding Bennacer. Our central midfield is the best since the Pirlo/Seedorf days.
I obviously do not agree about Bennacer only being a good player, but do agree that he has not made many assist or goals, but do not think it is his main role either. Technically he is capable of providing assists and scoring goals. He create space for Rebic, Hakan and the other wings.
Also Calabria is playing with a lot of confidence right now. Hope he can maintain it. He has certainly been a surprise after the corona break.
It would be nice, but I care more about him playing well out of defence and setting up Hernandez, Hakan, Rebic and Zlatan in good positions while still running constantly and harrassing the opponents. The team as a whole creates plenty of chances in each game right now.
All in all, a deserved win. We controlled the game in most part, with the exception at the start of the game and the last 15 minutes.
Gabbia played his best game so far. Rarely showed his light weight this time. BUT when Kjaer was subbed off and Duarte in the defense was all over the place ... maybe also bc Bennacer and Kessie were out as well...
The players are still rusty but nice to win even when not in best form. Last seasons we would defiantly struggle in this types of games.
Still think the main motor of this team is Ibra, and if he didnt sign this team would still struggle Which will happen if not next summer the summer after that, and ideally by then we should have a core of established players that even won a Mickey Cup or something.
No match thread for Crotone so just continuing this for now like last season.
Tonali starting which is surprising as he has looked sluggish, but also nice that he is giving the confidence already and I guess Bennacer needs some rest.
Also Diaz starting which is a bit more expected.