Monday August 21 2017
Serie A Team of Week 1

With all the big teams winning their games on the opening weekend, Dave Taylor picks out his best XI from Serie A’s return.

Gianluigi Buffon [Juventus]

What can you say about the boss? Always a protagonist and forever imposing at the back. Stood out with a sensational save from Diego Farias but it was his parried penalty from the same man that caught the eye and put a smile on his face. Magnificent.

Andrea Conti [Milan]

The 23-year-old right back who costing over €25m this summer from Atalanta seemed to settle in very comfortably and played in some dangerous balls. A valuable player for the future. Excellent.

Daniele Rugani [Juventus]

It was obvious from the kick-off the youngster knew his job. Keeping Cagliari locked down as if after a prison riot, his ability to take the pressure and return it in spades was very valuable, along with his coolness and confidence. Outstanding.

Faouzi Ghoulam [Napoli]

The 26-year-old Algerian celebrated his 100th appearance with a well-taken first goal for the Azzurri. He kept Verona’s right flank quiet and cherry-topped his game with an ever so subtle chip over the host’s keeper with ease. Exceptional.

Valter Birsa [Chievo]

Was always pushing up field, causing problems every time he got the ball, scoring once and producing an assist for the opener. Aware.

Claudio Marchisio [Juventus]

Controlled the midfield throughout, kept it simple and inspired the team to play as he did, with self-control and elegance. Showed off his marvellous engine and interpreted the game with intelligence. Gifted.

Frank Kessie [Milan]

A fine performance from the 20-year-old Ivorian, who scored an opening penalty to lead the way to the win. He played with personality, poise and his non-stop running caused lots of problems for the hosts. Intelligent.

Miralem Pjanic [Juventus]

A midfield master class, dictating the pace and style of play with some of his gorgeous passes causing problems for the visitors. It was from his perfect ball that saw Paulo Dybala score his goal. Totti-esque

Lorenzo Insigne [Napoli]

Another sensational performance from the local hero, who set up two goals and helped run the match from his advanced role. Worried the home ‘keeper from the start and his duet with Dries Mertens saw Ghoulam profit with his goal. Elegant.

Mauro Icardi [Inter]

Two shots on target, two goals for the sparkling Argentinian, who commanded the front line from the word go. Winning and converting a penalty after just six minutes, he added number two with a superb header. Stylish.

Paulo Dybala [Juventus]

Always alert he drifted back into midfield at times, showing his technique with an elegant ease. His goal showed his abilities off superbly as he chested down a sublime pass from Miralem Pjanic to smack it into the roof of the net. Vigilant.

Special mentions: Albert Gomis [Spal], Alexsandr Kolarov [Roma], Suso [Milan], Sergej Milinkovic-Savic [Lazio], Fabio Quagliarella [Sampdoria]

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