The midweek round only saw a few fabulous goals, but witnessed some cracking defending. Dave Taylor picks his best XI.
Samir Handanovic [Inter]
Beginning to settle in and organise his defence. In fine form and always alert, especially early on when stopping a wicked deflection from David Di Michele’s cross. Also denied Marco Rigoni twice, in particular his powerful free-kick. Vigilant.
Nicolas Spolli [Catania]
Won every challenge in the air and was always ready to push forward and punish the Atalanta forwards. Constantly anticipating the opposition’s moves, his intelligent positioning also saw him weigh in with a precise assist. Commanding.
Hugo Campagnaro [Napoli]
As one of Napoli’s most consistent players this season he was no different in this match. Always in the right place at the right time, he launched the perfect ball out of defence for Edinson Cavani’s third goal. Athletic.
Facundo Roncaglia [Fiorentina]
For the third week running the Argentine absolutely shone and was iron solid at the back and certainly not overawed by the champions. Always ready to push up field and, following another lung-busting surge, narrowly missed scoring. Dynamic.
Matteo Darmian [Torino]
Absolutely flew down the flank and, although principally a right-back, such was his forcefulness that he got up field on several occasions. He put over several superb crosses, which were unfortunately wasted due to his teammates’ inadequacies. Outstanding.
Marek Hamsik [Napoli]
Another awesome performance and had a big hand in Cavani’s goal. Always menacing he set up several chances, confusing Lazio by swapping roles with Christian Maggio when viable. Almost scored and deserved his standing ovation when subbed late on. Majestic.
Francesco Lodi [Catania]
Started like a house on fire scorching Andrea Consigli’s gloves with a blazing free-kick. Worried the visitors’ defence with his technique and use of the ball. Blistering.
Juan Camilo Zuniga [Napoli]
The Colombian was outstanding down the left, forever forcing Abdoulay Konko on to his back foot and exploiting the gaps with pace and intelligence. Such was his dominance that he spent more time attacking than defending. Superior.
Stephan El Shaarawy [Milan]
Easily Man of the Match and caused panic every time he got the ball. His movement and intelligence in the penalty area oozed class and he killed off the visitors with two goals of the highest quality. Excellent.
Francesco Totti [Roma]
Scored his 216th Serie A goal hours before he turned 36 and although the years might be catching up, his class is undoubtedly permanent. Found space in a crowded box to score the opener, also hit the crossbar with a cross-cum-shot. Magnificent.
Edinson Cavani [Napoli]
Scoring three top-class goals, the Matador tortured the visitors every time he got the ball. Also helped out in defence and was always two or three moves ahead as he lit up the San Paolo with his utter brilliance. Luminous.
Special mentions: Miroslav Klose [Lazio], Pablo Cesar Barrientos [Catania], Vladimir Weiss [Pescara], Ivan Pelizzoli [Pescara], Antonio Cassano [Inter] and Gianluca Pegolo [Siena].
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