Wednesday February 27 2013
Serie A Team of Week 26

Following another four-day extravaganza of Italian football, Dave Taylor picks his best XI from Week 26.

Samir Handanovic [Inter]

A Man of the Match performance, rescuing a point for the Nerazzurri with his saves, especially from Mario Balotelli’s powerful header. The Slovenian No 1 showed, on at least five occasions, that he is among Serie A’s very best. Imposing.

Stephan Lichtsteiner [Juventus]

Undoubtedly the best player on the park and absolutely tortured Siena down the right. Always looking to menace, he was aware enough to be in the right place to snap on to a Mirko Vucinic pass, to tap the ball home. Shrewd.

Miguel Angel Britos [Napoli]

One of the few in the game who came away with any credit. Always alert to danger, he kept the Udinese forwards at bay, in particular Muriel and patrolled his patch with tenacity and intelligence. Authorative.

Stefan Radu [Lazio]

A constant watchtower at the back, providing a solid base for the midfield and forwards to push on. However, it was the Romanian defender who opened the scoring as his powerful strike flew past a flabbergasted Ivan Pelizzoli. Daunting.

Mattia De Sciglio [Milan]

One of the defenders of the season and his constant runs down the left shredded Inter time after time. Sadly his colleagues could not exploit his numerous crosses or Milan would have been out of sight by half-time. Impressive.

Daniele Conti [Cagliari]

The captain returned with a bang, pushing his side forward incessantly and scored a wonderful brace. His winner in extra time being the pick, as his supersonic long-distance effort deflected in. Remarkable.

Francesco Lodi [Catania]

Never allowed the hosts to get a foothold in the game and his free-kick from an impossible angle just five minutes in, fooled everyone, especially the goalkeeper. Stopped Parma’s rhythm and completely bossed the midfield. Significant.

Miralem Pjanic [Roma]

Played with a dynamic that he kept up the whole game. From his midfield role he probed constantly and his goal, direct from his stunning free-kick, left the ‘keeper completely bemused. Vibrant.

Andrea Cossu [Cagliari]

Playing just behind the forwards, he was at the centre of everything for Cagliari. His perfect cross set up Daniele Conti’s first goal, while his free-kick almost set up another with Luca Rossettini just missing a connection. Integral.

Marko Livaja [Atalanta]

The 19-year-old Croatian striker opened the scoring with his superb anticipation allowing him to tap in at the back stick. After scoring his first League goal, his second soon followed when he brushed of a tackle to volley home. Outstanding.

Stephan El Shaarawy [Milan]

As always a pain in the back-side for the opposition defence, looking to worry them with his pace and general trickery. Topped off a great performance with his 28th goal of his career. Excellent.

Special mentions: Ezequiel Schelotto [Inter], Lucas Castro [Catania], Alessio Cerci [Torino], Vasilios Torosidis [Roma], Alejandro Gomez [Catania], Lorenzo De Silvestri [Sampdoria], Stefan Radu [Lazio], Allan [Udinese], Eder [Sampdoria].

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