Monday December 9 2013
Serie A Team of Week 15

After a weekend of high drama, exciting comebacks and fabulous goals, Dave Taylor picks his best XI from round 15.

Christian Puggioni [Chievo]

Chievo continued their good run thanks to their 32-year-old net minder. He came and won all Sassuolo’s crosses and showed what a good ‘keeper can bring to a team when saving from Gaetano Masucci’s bullet-like header. Influential.

Maicon [Roma]

Always worried Fiorentina with his probing down the right flank and scored the opener by slotting home Gervinho’s pass from close range. He continued to cause problems and only a fine block from Neto stopped him scoring again. Determined.

Giorgio Chiellini [Juventus]

Always provided safety in front of Gianluigi Buffon, he marked Rolando Bianchi out of the game. When heading home his goal he leapt like a salmon twisting and spinning as if escaping a Brown bear in an Alaskan river. Dominant.

Mehdi Benatia [Roma]

As always led from the centre and nullified any connection between the visitors’ forward line and midfield. Always in position to read the game well and made his interventions telling with the balance to intercept left or right. Commanding.

Boukary Drame [Chievo]

Stayed back in defence when needed but when the occasion arose he bolted forward releasing the pressure as an outlet on the left flank while showing incredible fitness and energy. Prominent.

Dusan Basta [Udinese]

Started in midfield then switched into defence and started causing problems. Controlled Lorenzo Insigne and Antony Reveillere and late on took advantage of defensive frailties to bury the ball past a static Rafael for a deserved equaliser. Impressive.

Arturo Vidal [Juventus]

The versatile Chilean was easily Man of the Match with his sheer resourcefulness and energy. Apart from his dexterity when chipping the onrushing goalkeeper for the opener, he also made more tackles than the rest of Juve put together. Persistent.

Gervinho [Roma]

Simply outstanding, popping up everywhere with several goal-scoring attempts and worried the Viola every time he got the ball. Set up Maicon’s goal with a fabulous pull back before producing the assist for Mattia Destro with a similar ball. Dazzling.

Rodrigo Palacio [Inter]

Wore out Alessandro Lucarelli and Gabriel Paletta with his energy and ran riot scoring twice, once with a rare header, the other a terrific right-footer. After the break his superbly headed pass set up Fredy Guarin’s goal. Antagonistic.

Goran Pandev [Napoli]

The Macedonian did not waste a shot and scored a well-deserved brace. His first slotted in from a few yards out while two minutes later he turned smartly on a Gonzalo Higuain pass to drill the ball home. Outstanding.

Mario Balotelli [Milan]

Always menacing and despite being closely marked throughout opened the scoring before rescuing the points with a laser-like 109kph free-kick. Also severely tested Francesco Bardi with two stinging strikes, one that hit the underside of the bar. Ballistic.