After a pulsating Week 32 that saw a couple of teams reignite their European hopes, Dave Taylor picks his best XI.
Michael Agazzi [Chievo]
Made a series of incredible saves and kept a fired up Verona out for 65 minutes eventually succumbing to Luca Toni. Before that and afterwards, he stopped thunderbolts from Toni twice as well as Romulo and Juan Iturbe. Outrageous
Mattia Cassani [Parma]
Ran the right flank with determination and intelligence, cutting in when necessary. Kept Lorenzo Insigne quiet and after another surge into the area delivered the ball on a plate for Marco Parolo’s goal. Organised.
Gonzalo Rodriguez [Fiorentina]
The 29-year-old Argentinean stood his ground closing down every attempt by Udinese to bypass him. One highly crucial tackle saw him successfully rob Luis Muriel in a very dangerous position. Topped a superb performance by converting the penalty. Outstanding.
Alessandro Longhi [Sassuolo]
The 24-year-old Italian was the main component of a laudable defence and along with Paolo Cannavaro stopped Atalanta’s right flank dead in the water. The normally adventurous Marcelo Estigarribia was taken off such was the job done on him. Obstinate.
Juan Cuadrado [Fiorentina]
Tortured the visitors throughout and opened the scoring by winning a penalty after another searing run into the area, dancing by several defenders. Twice hit the crossbar and generally never allowed Udinese’s defence any respite. Ominous.
Antonio Candreva [Lazio]
As usual everything went through him and he anticipated Kieta’s pass perfectly before slotting home from nine yards. Pushed forward continuously and might have scored another if not for goalkeeper Junior da Costa. Optimum.
Marco Parolo [Parma]
Seen a lot of action and got into the right place at the right time for Mattia Cassani’s sublime pass before screaming the ball past goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Always a handful and his strong running was always purposeful. Optimal.
Adel Taarabt [Milan]
Nominally started on the left of midfield and scored the opening goal after an athletic and powerful run ended with his long-distance right-footer screaming into the net. Kept probing and a Genoa defence that had no answer. Obtrusive.
Mattia Destro [Roma]
Like a monster from a horror film, marching inexorably towards his victims, he could not be stopped. Played the starring role in a deadly hat-trick and on this form should be leading man for the Azzurri. Opportunistic.
Mauro Icardi [Inter]
Caused trouble from the off and topped a superb performance with a sparkling brace. The first a spanking half-volley that zoomed into the back of the net. His second came via a perfect long-distance shot. Olympian.
Luca Toni [Verona]
Like Sister Scuccia winning the Voice of Italy the old gentleman of Verona can do no wrong. Beat his old friend Dario Dainelli several times and despite his 36-years showed all the enthusiasm of a teenager when getting to the ball first to score. Omniscient.
Special mentions: Keita Balde Diao [Lazio], Ciro Immobile [Torino] Nicola Sansone [Sassuolo], Dries Mertens [Napoli], Fernando Llorente [Juventus], Andrea Pirlo [Juventus], Gabriel Paletta [Parma], Stefan Liechtensteiner [Juventus].
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