As the top two continue to break away, but European and relegation battles hot up, Marcello Cossali-Francis picks his best XI from Week 25.
Emiliano Viviano (Sampdoria)
Had it not been for Viviano, Milan would have had more than just the one goal in this match. Made a brilliant penalty save from Ricardo Rodriguez down to his left, which ultimately kept the away side in the game. Could have done better perhaps for Milan’s goal, but more than made up for it with the rest of his performance.
Ervin Zukanovic (Genoa)
Part of the back three that defended so well against Inter and managed to thwart anything that the away side attempted to do. Made a crucial clearance off the line when Eder’s shot looked destined for the goal and alongside Nicolas Spolli and Luca Rossettini, looked very comfortable for most parts.
Daniele Rugani (Juventus)
Was a calming influence at the back for Juve in the derby against Torino. Won free kicks and played the ball out from defence well all game. Managed to keep Andrea Belotti extremely quiet, which is no mean feat.
Davide Calabria (Milan)
Milan have been a different side since Christmas and defensively they have been excellent. Calabria was again on top form against Sampdoria and provided the assist for Giacomo Bonaventura’s goal, which ended up being the match winner. Was a threat all day long going forward and his cross also forced a penalty.
Nicolas Viola (Benevento)
Arguably player of the week after leading Benevento to just their third win of the season. Was a constant threat shooting from distance and caused the Crotone defence plenty of issues down the left-hand side with his left-foot. Provided the corner from which Sandro equalised and then put them into the lead with his deflected drive from outside the box. Need to see more from him if Benevento are to do the impossible this season.
Radja Nainggolan (Roma)
We have become used to these types of performances from the Belgian, but he continues to impress this season. Could have recorded two assists in the first half when he did brilliantly well to set up Stephan El Shaarawy on two occasions. He dominated the midfield and finally did get his assist in the second half when he played Diego Perotti through to finish the game off for Roma.
Emanuele Giaccherini (Chievo)
Normally only playing 20 minutes would not get you into a team of the week, but given how dramatically he changed the game, he warrants his place. He was brought on in the 69th minute and just four minutes later he curled a beautiful 25-yard free-kick into the top corner to put Chievo in front before providing an assist for Roberto Inglese to double their advantage just two minutes later. Super sub.
Luis Alberto (Lazio)
Luis Alberto is having his best season in his career to date this campaign and his link-up play with Immobile is absolutely the key to Lazio’s success this season. Another assist to Immobile, a long with an 82% pass success rate, seven shots on goal, one of which struck the woodwork, and four successful dribbles during the game.
Alex Sandro (Juventus)
Was asked to play a much more attacking role against Torino, playing on the left wing. Many have said this is Sandro’s best position and he looked very dangerous when he got forward to cause the Torino defence problems all day. Scored the only goal of the game when tapping in from Federico Bernardeschi’s low cross. In the right place at the right time and looks more than capable in this more advanced role.
Goran Pandev (Genoa)
It was refreshing to see Pandev playing at his best and he looked full of energy and determination against one of his ex-clubs. Took his goal beautifully when bringing Diego Laxalt’s low drive under control in the box, before taking a touch and rolling it past Samir Handanovic. Could have scored in the first half when his cross evaded everyone and struck the underside of the bar. Classic Pandev.
Ciro Immobile (Lazio)
Another two goals to add to his tally, increasing his lead at the top of the Capocannoniere charts to 22, four ahead of Mauro Icardi in second. Both goals taken well, his first a strong finish at the near post from 14 yards and the second a neat header to extend Lazio’s advantage. Their slight slip in form forgotten as Lazio jump into fourth place again. More brilliance from Immobile, who can put the five-game drought behind him.
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