After a long weekend of important games and significant results, Dave Taylor picks his best XI from round 16.
Angelo Da Costa [Sampdoria]
If not for him Samp simply would have not come away with the points. In the first half he made several top class saves from Cyril Thereau, Dario Dainelli and Perparim Hetemaj, with more of the same in the second. Dogged.
Cristian Zapata [Milan]
Completely dominant at the back, especially in aerial battles while his excellent timing saw him steal in at a corner to head home. He also made two crucial sliding tackles on Gervinho and Dodo to save the day. Prevailing.
Nikola Maksimovic [Torino]
In only his first full game for the Bulls, the 23-year-old Serbian won everything in the air, totally dominating in the centre of defence despite heavy pressure from Udinese at times. Determined.
Mehdi Benatia [Roma]
Led Roma’s back line brilliantly and has formed the perfect partnership with Leandro Castan with his intelligence and movement. His anticipation and awareness also helped him block Mario Balotelli and his teammates out of the game. Commanding.
Dries Mertens [Napoli]
Made the most of his new central midfield position, stitching midfield to attack perfectly. Scored the second goal with a homicidal volley from 20 yards out, set up Blerim Dzemaili’s goal and continued to test the Inter ‘keeper throughout. Fabulous.
Borja Valero [Fiorentina]
The Spaniard was sheer quality and impressed all over the pitch, scoring once and setting up one. His own strike was Baggio-like as he feinted with his left before catching it with his right to machine-gun it home Batistuta-style. Overwhelming.
Lorenzo Insigne [Napoli]
Caused a number of problems as he devastated Inter’s right-sided players and was always looking for the ball. Also produced two sublime assists, set up several other attempts and had a couple of real screamers saved. Breath-taking.
Federico Peluso [Juventus]
Showed some of the tenacity he was bought for and was always an outlet on the left. He scored his first Juve League goal with a fine header after slipping in front of a defender and assisted on a Tevez goal.
Miroslav Klose [Lazio]
Like trying to catch a greased eel with oiled gloves, Livorno just could not get a grip on Klose as first his left-footer screamed high into the back of the net, followed by a right-footer into the bottom left. Significant.
Carlos Tevez [Juventus]
The Argentine maestro was absolutely brilliant scoring a hat-trick and an assist. Always in the right place at the right time for all three goals and, despite the poor opposition, you can only beat what’s in front of you. Electrifying.
Gonzalo Higuain [Napoli]
Like a butcher's dog that attends weekly yoga classes, the Argentine was just too fit for the visitors and caused them problems all match. Scored the opener with a dynamic volleyed strike then had a massive hand in the second. Pulsating.
Special mentions: Ciro Immobile [Torino], Paul Pogba [Juventus], Giuseppe Rossi [Fiorentina], Mauricio Isla [Juventus], Gervinho [Roma], Mattia Destro [Roma].
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