After an historical weekend of penalty awards, unbeaten runs and surprise victories, Dave Taylor picks his best XI from the latest round of action.
Alberto Frisson [Catania]
Could do nothing about the goals but stopped everything else including Victor Ibarbo’s penalty and its headed follow up. He also stopped another two Ibarbo bullets and denied strong efforts from Daniele Conti, Mauricio Pinilla and Agim Ibraimi. Essential.
Fabrizio Cacciatore [Verona]
Another top performance from the right-back, as he scored his third goal in eight games with a superb volley after finding the space to shoot. Always involved and caused several problems down his flank. Dictatorial.
Mehdi Benatia [Roma]
The leader of the defence and the silk to Leandro Castan’s steel. His anticipation and awareness means he invariably wins the ball before any danger can materialise and mostly kept the Napoli forwards in check. Substantial.
Luca Antei [Sassuolo]
The 21-year-old worked well with Ezequiel Schelotto and put a defensive blanket over the whole right hand side of Bologna. One of his standout moments was his decisive goal-line clearance from a strong Marek Cech effort. Imperial.
Andrea Costa [Sampdoria]
Halted any attacks down his left side of the field and had the pacey Nigerian Innocent Emeghara under wraps for most of the game. Made a couple of crucial tackles in both halves and frustrated the Livorno forwards throughout. Industrial.
Daniele De Rossi [Roma]
Always on top of his game and opponents, while his hook off the line clearance from Goran Pandev’s effort was electrifying. Also caused problems up front, menacing with two strong headers and won all his aerial battles. Gladiatorial.
Luca Cigarini [Atalanta]
Easily Man of the Match and, standing out like a monk in a massage parlour, he scored one and set up the second. His goal came from a long-distance shot before he provided German Denis with the perfect through ball. Ambassadorial.
Miralem Pjanic [Roma]
The 23-year-old playmaker pulled the strings and gave warning of intent with an early Exocet. Scored the opener with a free-kick a watching Maradona would have been proud of, and then struck home a powerful penalty. Mercurial.
In a close match the Brazilian made the difference scoring two penalties with consummate ease – even if his performance was inconsistent at times. His first, a right footer that rocketed into the bottom right corner, the second he earned himself and slotted home into the same place. Providential.
Giuseppe Rossi [Fiorentina]
Beppe-Gol fired the Viola into an explosive comeback as he blew the champions apart inside 15 machine-gun minutes. Striking home a penalty, he then rifled a bullet past Gianluigi Buffon before shooting home his third with a revolver-like side foot. Batigolorial.
Alberto Gilardino [Genoa]
Two chances, two goals, two headers, one in the top left, the other in the bottom left. His first came from a corner from close range, his second from the centre of the box via Giovanni Marchese’s cross. Assasinatorial.
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