Michael Agazzi [Cagliari]
The former Orobici youngster was severely tested by Denis and perhaps should have stopped the only goal. Yet, generally by hook or crook, he kept one of Italy’s hottest hit men down to just one goal. Providential.
Andre Dias [Lazio]
Looks like the defender of old. Tough and uncompromising in the tackle, he closed down any danger with the utmost simplicity and precision, while always looking to start a counter-attack, if possible. Obdurate.
Matias Silvestre [Palermo]
Has had harder games but did all that was needed. He topped off a solid performance by losing his marker, leaping like a maggot fried in hot grease, and heading home past Gillet at the back post. Aware.
Moris Carrozzieri [Lecce]
Like sand he got in everywhere with a domineering and determined rock-like performance. Apart from pulling off a crucial goal-line clearance, he was the inspiration behind the visitors keeping their third clean sheet on their travels. Persistent.
Daniele Capelli [Atalanta]
Although the hosts had the first half, Cagliari forced the pace in the second and the captain’s crucial interventions helped keep a clean sheet. Always precise in the tackle, he was rarely caught out. Punctual.
Luca Rigoni [Chievo]
Up against Jovetic he needed all his experience. Got under the skin of several Viola players with his fierce tackling, but did his job and scored the only goal from point blank range. Dogged.
Josip Ilicic [Palermo]
Completely overran Bologna and never stopped demanding the ball. Had a massive hand in the first goal and his thunderbolt shot was just tipped over before he scored the final goal after another fabulous run. Exceptional.
Fernando Gago [Roma]
Sped through the Novara defence like a leopard on a kill and, with De Rossi, completely controlled the midfield. Moved into an even higher gear in the second half and sent over the corner for Osvaldo’s goal. Untouchable.
Made the Catania defence as nervous as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs, earning Ibra’s penalty and slotting home past Andujar for the second. Confusion about the third but the Brazilian’s feline magic surely forced Lodi’s own goal. Untouchable.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic [Milan]
The Swede converted his 15th Serie A penalty and 99th League goal with substantial ease, before setting up Robinho’s goal with a sublime pass. Was always a menace and at times absolutely unstoppable. Ubiquitous.
German Denis [Atalanta]
Always pushing forward, but foiled on several occasions by a combination of wood and Agazzi. Finally beat the ‘keeper with an excellent finish after losing his marker, turning and lobbing Agazzi for the winner. Omnipresent.
By Dave Taylor
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