It was a day for foreigners, freak goals and free-kicks in Serie A as Dave Taylor picks his best XI from Week 5.
Jean Francois-Gillet [Torino]
Although the Belgian had periods of inactivity he was always alert, especially when saving three times in quick succession from Khouma Babacar and a sensational reaction save from Alberto Aquilani’s free-kick. Not faultless for the goal but otherwise superb. Vigilant.
Thomas Heurtaux [Udinese]
The 26-year-old Frenchman kept Parma’s forwards quiet but the real highlight of his game and the match was his sensational strike. Facing away from the goal he connected perfectly from a cross and his fabulous scissor-kick absolutely screamed home. Attentive.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa [Roma]
Like a posse of bus drivers painstakingly manoeuvring their vehicles into the penalty box the Frenchman ensured not a centimetre of goal was left unguarded. Always involved, blocked out Nene from the game and almost scored from a corner. Daunting.
Kalidou Koulibaly [Napoli]
Slowly becoming an integral part of the defence the Frenchman’s imposing physical presence dampened down any inroads Sassuolo’s forwards tried to make. Started off a couple of attacking moves and was particularly crucial in stopping a Simone Zaza breakaway. Intimidating.
Jose Callejon [Napoli]
Always ready to exploit his speed and trickery the Spaniard got into the right position to slot home Gonzolo Higuain’s cross at the back post. He also set up Higuain on several occasions but the Argentinean failed to convert. Alert.
Miralem Pjanic [Roma]
Almost a clear head above everyone else and directed the play throughout with crisp, precise balls. The Bosnian also had the most touches and with a 90 per cent pass accuracy, his technique was there for all to see. Precise.
Paul Pogba [Juventus]
Always ready to hold the ball up and was integral to many of Juve’s best moves. Determined aggressive and always willing to work for the team, the young Frenchman had several goal attempts but just could not convert. Menacing.
Albin Ekdal [Cagliari]
The Swede hit his first goal of the season then followed it up with a further two to score a wonderful hat-trick all inside 15 minutes. Simply too hot to handle, he also helped out in defence when needed. Stupendous.
Antonio Di Natale [Udinese]
What can you say about Toto that hasn’t been said before? At 38 next month the veteran striker never ceases to amaze and his two goals both came from well placed shots in the first half. Amazing.
Filip Djordjevic [Lazio]
The 27-year-old Serbian recorded a sensational hat-trick, scoring the opener after clever positioning. The second came after a neat turn before he placed the ball in the far top corner while his third came from an acute angle while running. Outstanding.
Carlos Tevez [Juventus]
Once more the Argentinean led the way with his sheer raw persistence. Sewing panic in the home defence every time he got the ball he scored a well-deserved brace by being in the right place at the right time. Stunning.
Special Mentions: Mattia Destro [Roma], Patrice Evra [Juventus], Massimo Maccarone [Empoli], Thomas Heurtaux [Udinese], Alessandro Florenzi [Roma], Miguel Britos [Napoli], Jose Mauri [Parma], Fabio Quagliarella [Torino].
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