Following a weekend of gorgeous set-pieces, penalties and great goals, Dave Taylor picks his best XI for Serie A’s Week 8.
Sergio Romero [Sampdoria]
With Roma having 14 corners it was the Argentinean that had the most work to do. Certainly if not for two absolutely cracking acrobatic saves, especially on Alessandro Florenzi’s point-blank header, Roma may have gone home with the points. Decisive
Francesco Acerbi [Sassuolo]
Led from the back and was a real inspiration for the whole team never giving the Gialloblu forwards an inch. Also threatened in attack and scored by being in the perfect place to slot home from seven yards out. Superb.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa [Roma]
Played a big part in the visitors keeping a clean sheet, showed his excellent defensive instincts on several occasions and always looking to provide a killer pass out of defence. Always combative, a clear progression from the Bayern debacle. Commanding.
Danilo Avelar [Cagliari]
The Man of the Match scored with a fire-starter of a free-kick then two minutes later, a perfect penalty. All this and he still made the opposition forwards look like Harvey Keitel in an insurance ad, out of place. Remarkable.
Jose Callejon [Napoli]
Played his part in Hamsik’s opener then took up the glove himself narrowly firing over, before he snapped on to the ball from a corner to tuck home and put Napoli ahead. Kept causing problems and blended superbly with his fellow forwards. Significant.
Marek Hamsik [Napoli]
Here was the old Marekiaro probing, testing, assisting and scoring. Masterfully organised a ferocious Napoli attack and his two goals either side of the half were classic goal poaching, especially his quick thinking for the second. Incredible.
Saphir Taider [Sassuolo]
Set up the opener with a gorgeously weighted chipped pass while a wonderfully curved ball of a free-kick hit the woodwork and bounced away. Rewarded for all his hard work when his Exocet rattled into the top corner. Integral.
Albin Ekdal [Cagliari]
The 25-year-old Swede controlled the midfield and was involved in everything good about the visitors’ victory. Won the penalty and thoroughly deserved his neat right-footed goal after a great run just before half-time. Fundamental.
Kwadwo Asamoah [Juventus]
Always available and his pace and foresight was integral to most of Juve’s attacks. Never gave up probing but also never forget his defensive duties regarding any attacks down his side. Noteworthy.
Antonio Di Natale [Udinese]
Rabonas, hit-the-posters, shave-the-uprighters, topside-of-the-netters - you name it the veteran did it. Over and above all this the captain also scored with a magnificent curling ball that nestled in the top corner. Legend.
Gonzalo Higuain [Napoli]
El Pipita led the Napoli line like a true Matador breaking his League duck with a fabulous hat-trick inside 22 glorious second half-minutes. Tested Verona’s goalkeeper several times and had a good goal chalked off before bursting into life. Exhilarating.
Special Mentions: Alessandro Matri [Genoa], Arturo Vidal [Juventus], Lucas Biglia [Lazio], Lorenzo Insigne [Napoli], Gonzalo Rodriguez [Fiorentina], Sime Vrsaljko [Sassuolo].
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