Azzurrini in the league: Di Francesco and Lombardi bright, Conti and Petagna decisive

Azzurrini in the league: Di Francesco and Lombardi bright, Conti and Petagn

His time out with injuries seems to finally have come to an end as Federico Di Francesco was one of the few positive points for Bologna away at Juventus. What has to be a season of consolidation for the 22-year-old winger and son of Sassuolo boss Eusebio has proceeded in a convincing manner. He’s a regular presence in Luigi Di Biagio’s Under-21 Italy side and a starter for the Rossoblu. He was unable to do much damage against Juventus’ formidable defence although he did take on his man at various times and was certainly the most dangerous player for his side.

Gian Piero Gasperini has Atalanta flying into orbit and much of that is down the brigade of Azzurrini at his disposal. The Bergamo side probably put in their best performance of a great season away at Chievo and lots of credit has to go to Andrea Conti and Andrea Petagna who were key as the Dea netted four. The Under-21 right-back was everywhere up and down the flank as Gasperini’s players tend to be. He was as dangerous going forward as he was solid in defence and he got a goal to crown a top performance. On the other hand, a goal was the only thing missing for Petagna. The AC Milan youth product was excellent as he linked up Atalanta’s attacking play, he was a threat in the air and he provided a very tidy assist for Remo Freuler. Gasperini complimented his performance after the match and he deserved the kind words.

The absence of a player of Felipe Anderson’s calibre can be keenly felt. Therefore, we must congratulate Cristiano Lombardi for his performance from the opening whistle against Crotone. He was able to win a penalty which Lucas Biglia then missed and he had a goal disallowed for being a millimetre offside. The 21-year-old from the Lazio academy has fitted in well as a squad player for Simone Inzaghi and he has an impressive ability to be ready when called upon.

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