Julio Cesar [Inter]
Although the rest of the side may have crossed the Rubicon, the imperial ‘keeper kept out the Roman army with impressive saves from Borini, Totti and Osvaldo twice, despite a very greasy surface. Imposing.
Jean Guillermo Cuadrado [Lecce]
An utterly confident performance from the pacey Colombian, who contained the Bologna forwards with consummate ease. He had a massive hand in both goals and dominated the right flank with his vision and positioning. Intelligent.
Tough and uncompromising in the tackle, he led the back line like he had been in bianconero his entire career. The normally quicksilver Gilardino never got a look in and was seemingly overwhelmed by the Brazilian. Unyielding.
Salvatore Aronica [Napoli]
The gritty Sicilian was determined to let no-one pass and Pato was especially shackled by the veteran defender. He also got under the skin of several other Milan players who were openly frustrated by his ferocious tackling. Dogged.
Mauricio Isla [Udinese]
The Chilean was a danger throughout the game with his control and crosses from the right. Tortured Gamberini and Kharja, then scored with a powerful angled shot that almost broke Boruc's hand on its way in. Persistent.
Daniele De Rossi [Roma]
Showed why he was desperately wanted by Roberto Mancini with his non-stop prompting and pushing. Whether starting an attack or closing down the opposition, he was colossal, especially when blocking a dangerous Nagatomo raid. Ubiquitous.
Andrea Cossu [Cagliari]
Directing the play just behind Ribiero and Nene with his darting and intelligent runs, the captain caused complete chaos in the Novara defence. Cool and commanding, he was at the heart of every attack. Untouchable.
Miguel Veloso [Genoa]
Refused to give an inch and continually took the fight to the hosts. He worked well with Palacio and almost scored with a ferocious strike as well as crucially facing down Cisse's powerful header. Determined.
Edinson Cavani [Napoli]
El Matador was in God-like form as he scored his fifth Vesuviani hat-trick. His first was half-volleyed through Abbiati's legs. His second flew unstoppably into the top corner while his third, a left-footed volley, exploited Nesta's mistake. Omnipresent.
Rodrigo Palacio [Genoa]
Almost scored straight away before earning his side a surprise victory with a casually flipped equaliser past Marchetti and an assist for Kucka. Went close again only for Marchetti to block at the last moment. Exceptional.
Antonio Di Natale [Udinese]
Scored with an utterly cool penalty before going on to worry the Viola's defence until the last minute. Always looking for a second goal, he had several attempts either foiled by Boruc or narrowly off target. Unique.
By Dave Taylor
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