After an exciting weekend when Juventus and several youngsters piled on the pressure, Dave Taylor picks his best XI from round 12.
Antonio Mirante [Parma]
Made several top-notch saves including palming away a thunderous Antonio Candreva free-kick. Also put the block on a couple of efforts from Kieta and Miroslav Klose and was kept busy throughout but was always secure. Outstanding.
Dario Dainelli [Chievo]
The veteran was arguably Man of the Match, stopping, intercepting and controlling anything the visitors could throw at him. Marshalled his teammates superbly and kept a tight ship that Alessandro Matri struggled to board. Superior.
Daniele Portanova [Genoa]
Scored the opener from a perfect corner as his hover-jet heels helped him power home a dynamic header. In his day job back in defence he was a solid wall helping deny the normally boisterous Verona forwards. Commanding.
Alessandro Lucarelli [Parma]
A commanding performance by the veteran as he stood out among his fellow defenders. Had Klose firmly under control, authoritative in the air and unyielding on the ground. Oh yes – he scored the equaliser. Imposing.
Francelino Matuzalem [Genoa]
Laid on several good balls and most of the Grifone’s best moves came through him. He also produced two excellent assists, the first from a corner and the second from a perfect delivery. Illuminating.
Daniele Conti [Cagliari]
The captain was on top form, scoring from two set pieces. His first, a right-footer, absolutely flew through the wall into the bottom left corner while his second a last minute right-footed rocket grabbed a deserved win. Explosive.
Andrea Pirlo [Juventus]
Mozart, il Professore, the Architect and il Metronomo, each nickname sublimely fits Serie A’s top midfielder perfectly. Another inspirational display of intelligent passes, aware positioning and naturally a free-kicked goal. It doesn’t get much better. Transcendent.
Paul Pogba [Juventus]
The young Frenchman showed he meant business, testing Pepe Reina immediately with a strong right-footer. Unafraid to put his weight about he finally got his reward after scoring with a flicked up powerful volley from outside the box. Enlightened.
Balde Diao Keita [Lazio]
The 20-year–old was red hot on his first start with his weaving runs and trickery. He also scored a superb solo goal and, if not for Antonio Mirante, may have had a hat-trick. Sensational.
Carlos Tevez [Juventus]
As usual worked his socks off and had four strong shots on goal that were saved or blocked. Started powerfully and continued to menace. Set up the first goal which was perhaps offside, but the Argentine was still there regardless. Dangerous.
Domenico Berardi [Sassuolo]
Following on from his hat-trick against Sampdoria, the youngster caused problems for the leaders. After a handful of attempts he saved the day screaming home a last second, left- footed shot from the centre of the box. Articulate.
Special mentions: Juraj Kucka [Genoa], Gianluca Pegolo [Sassuolo], Miralem Pjanic [Roma], Gianluigi Buffon [Juventus], Giuseppe Rossi [Fiorentina], Gonzalo Rodriguez [Fiorentina], Lorenzo Insigne [Napoli], Juan Cuadrado [Fiorentina].
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