At the end of an extended Week 22 with Juventus still reigning supreme, Dave Taylor picks his standout XI.
Daniele Padelli [Torino]
Tested from the off and was never found wanting, he made fingertip saves from Giampaolo Pazzini twice and a Riccardo Montolivo free-kick. He also reacted superbly to Kaka’s thunderbolt, deflecting that and Keisuke Honda’s effort over the bar. Amazing.
The veteran Brazilian narrowly missed scoring in the first minute as his screamer was saved by Alberto Frison. He then set up an Innocent Emeghara goal after his own shot was beaten away into the path of the striker. Aware.
Andre Dias [Lazio]
Like an octopus his legs were everywhere fighting for every ball and king of all he surveyed. Always alert and subsequently first to every ball he also made two crucially important interventions. Attentive.
Giorgio Chiellini [Juventus]
Showed exactly why he has made 400 Serie A appearances with his presence felt in all areas of the pitch. Won all his aerial battles, completed a stunning 95 per cent pass rate and also popped up to score. Authoritative.
Stephan Lichtsteiner [Juventus]
Another sparkling performance by the Swiss ace who absolutely tore through Inter’s left flank. He worked especially well with Andrea Pirlo, who laid on the perfect pass for him to force a diving header into the far corner. Awesome.
Andrea Pirlo [Juventus]
After a while you can run out of superlatives to describe the Metronome. Always on top in midfield were he sprayed around sublime and threatening passes that made his opposite numbers look like amateurs. Absolute.
Maxi Moralez [Atalanta]
The Argentinean proved a problem for the visitors all game, probing and prodding until at last he got his just rewards. Exploiting the irresponsible Federico Fernandez he easily slipped past him and fired home. Articulate.
Kwadwo Asamoah [Juventus]
What Lichtsteiner did on the right the Ghanaian did on the left. Ran a befuddled Jonathan ragged and his passing, runs and crossing caused problems all game as he looked like the Asamoah of old again. Accomplished.
Innocent Emeghara [Livorno]
Thanks to his absolutely unrelenting pace he scored a superb brace as well as winning a penalty. Both goals came as he was first to the ball after the Catania goalkeeper beat away efforts from Emerson and Alfred Duncan. Attitude.
German Denis [Atalanta]
The former Napoli striker scored twice via two horrendous defensive mistakes. The first saw him slip a powerful shot under Pepe Riena, while his second, which was a perfect half-volley, came before his assist for the third goal. Adept.
Balde Diao Keita [Lazio]
Undoubtedly the game’s best player the Spanish-Senegalese teenager has still to play a full game in his 11 appearances. Apart from the assist on the first he could maybe have had a hat-trick before his snapshot was deflected in. Adroit.
Special mentions: Ciro Immobile [Torino], Luca Toni [Verona], Emil Hallfredsson [Verona], Pablo Barrientos [Catania], Kamil Klik [Torino], Maxi Lopez [Sampdoria], Arturo Vidal [Juventus].
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