It was a matter of all things familiar for Bologna in 2020/21 as Sinisa Mihajlovic guided his side to a 12th placed finish, as he had done the year before, this time winding up on 41 points after barely looking up nor down in an uneventful, mostly mid-table Serie A campaign.
I Veltri picked up 10 wins, managed 11 draws, and suffered 17 defeats on their way to securing yet another top-flight finish during a season in which there wasn’t anything exceptional to write home about.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON: Musa Barrow
The 22-year-old Gambian made his move from Atalanta a permanent one last July for a fee of just €13 million and proved well worth every penny. A consistent pick, playing his part in every Serie A game – four of which were from the bench – the speedy forward totted up a more than impressive eight goals and eight assists.
A 40-yard lob against Spezia and match-winning braces against Cagliari and Parma were some of his finer moments as Bologna endured a stop-start year or so.
BEST SIGNING: Adama Soumaoro
The central defender may not be the first name to spring to mind, however, the Frenchman was solid when called upon, often no-nonsense and actually completed the most accurate passes per game for Mihajlovic’s side, as well as making the most successful clearances for his team.
The centre-half is due to return to his mother club – recently-crowned Liga 1 champions Lille – so he may struggle to get a game over in France and therefore could be a solid, tried and tested man for the Rossoblu next season should they see fit.
THE COACH: Sinisa Mihajlovic
What’s not to love about the Serb? A born winner, a proven fighter, a tough-talking, honest, yet open-minded coach who seems to be loved by all. One of the men who, At the time of writing, is yet to fall victim to the latest Serie A game of ‘sack-a-coach’.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: Barrow’s brilliantly executed lob
The date was the 16th of December 2020, the score was 2-1 to Spezia in La Spezia when, in the 92nd minute, the ball fell kindly to Barrow who tried an outrageous lob from all of 40 yards. And how did he try, the ball sailing over Ivan Provedel to snatch a draw for Bologna.
The forward did then go on to miss a penalty at the death, failing to convert in the 97th minute but that was soon forgotten about because all had witnessed one of the goals of the season that night. Oddly enough, the draw would be the team’s first of three 2-2 draws in five games.
THE BAD: Winless streaks
Although safety had been all but confirmed and the Veltri stuttered their way to the end of the season with a seven-match winless streak and nothing much was said about it.
Mihajlovic’s side, however, had earlier in the season gone one better, or worse, whichever way you look at it by failing to win in eight consecutive games. Even if five draws on the bounce during those eight games – including an impressive draw against Atalanta – can eventually be seen as vital points gained in the hunt for mid-table obscurity as opposed to having been losses that could have potentially dragged them into a relegation scrap.