Following a big weekend for smaller clubs with some sensational performances, Dave Taylor picks his best XI.
Stefano Sorrentino [Palermo]
Lobs, volleys, close up finger-tip saves, free-kicks, corners, the ex-Chievo ‘keeper stopped all on his debut. Commanded his area superbly and was particularly excellent when frustrating Marco Sau, who he foiled several times, especially on one dangerous curling strike. Commanding.
Nicola Legrottaglie [Catania]
On top form at both ends of the pitch making several crucial interventions, especially his block on Adem Ljajic’s run. In the second half got up field to convert a corner with a decisive header. Versatile.
Leonardo Bonucci [Juventus]
Always ready to make a critical tackle, never allowing Genoa any room. As usual the strength behind Juve’s back line and also stepped up field to direct the play. Set up a couple of chances and almost scored himself. Pirloish.
Marco Andreolli [Chievo]
A real rock in the centre of defence and battled constantly. His precise tackling was crucial and he stopped every attack, along with his fellow defender Bostjan Cesar, before it got anywhere near being dangerous. Persistent.
Stephan Lichtsteiner [Juventus]
Ran riot down the right and caused problems all match. Fabio Quagliarella wasted his perfect cross early on but the striker did score from another of the wing-back’s gorgeous balls before the Swiss almost scored himself from long distance. Inexhaustible.
Marek Hamsik [Napoli]
Direct in his ability to immediately access a footballing facility beyond the understandable to normal senses and reason. His inspiring and intelligent use of the ball was only surpassed by his angled drive for the opener. Apotheosisic.
Alessandro Diamanti [Bologna]
A Man of the Match performance from his midfield perch as he orchestrated everything good about his side’s attack. Menaced the opposition goal on several occasions and actually hit the framework twice. Creative.
Blerim Dzemaili [Napoli]
The Swiss international provided superbly for his teammates with his precise delivery and served as an efficient link in midfield. And although he may soon be gone he won’t be forgotten after this game after also setting up Hamsik’s goal. Tenacious.
Pablo Alvarez [Catania]
From his volley in the first few minutes until his last kick, the Argentinean caused problems for the visitors. Starting on the right he switched over to the left and continued to be a threat down that flank. Clinical.
Mauro Icardi [Sampdoria]
Born in the same town as Messi and played like him yesterday. After scoring three in 10 starts, including his brace against Juve, the teenager scored the season’s first poker and could have scored more if not for Mattia Perin. Exceptional.
Riccardo Meggiorini [Torino]
Stole into positions that constantly fooled defenders and was rewarded when exploiting Fredy Guarin’s mistake for his first goal. Torino took the lead with his second before he almost scored the winner with a sweet strike in injury-time. Stupefying.
Special mentions: Alberto Gilardino [Bologna], Cyril Thereau [Chievo] Paolo Cannavaro [Napoli], Juan Zuniga [Napoli], Alberto Paloschi [Chievo], Francesco Totti [Roma], Lucas Castro [Catania], Lorenzo De Silvestri [Sampdoria].
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