With Sassuolo sneaking up on a Champions League place, Dave Taylor selects his top XI from Week 8.
Stefano Sorrentino [Palermo]
Always alert and unafraid to leave his line if needed, he pulled off several outstanding saves including smothering the ball at Anthony Mounier’s feet. He also finger-tipped away a stunning individual strike from Luca Rizzo before stopping Franco Brienza’s free-kick. Vigilant.
Francesco Acerbi [Sassuolo]
A defensive performance of confidence and intelligence, the Bazooka to Lazio’s pistol. Always presented himself whenever danger threatened and contributed several long balls that menaced the Aquile defence. Convincing.
Modibo Diakite [Frosinone]
Showed from the start that it would take a lot to get past him, and made several crucial clearances and tackles throughout. Also dominant in the air and controlled his defence excellently denying Samp’s forwards.
Jeison Murillo [Inter]
Along with his defensive teammate Miranda he controlled the visitors’ attacking formation so well that both Simone Zaza and Alvaro Morata were subbed. He also made a number of well-timed interventions.
Luca Paganini [Frosinone]
Caused problems when moving up from midfield into a forward’s role and his dynamic partnership with Danilo Soddimo put him into several dangerous positions. It all came to fruition when Soddimo’s well-placed corner to the near post saw Luca head home.
Always as taut as a garrotte, blocking shots, running with the ball out of defence, menacing the opposition defenders and setting up goal attempts. Never put a foot wrong and is one of the building block of Sarri’s new Napoli. Complete.
Miralem Pjanic [Roma]
When he got the ball Empoli defenders became as jittery as a gerbil in a giant snake pit. Opening the scoring with a gold button of a free kick, he also produced the assist for Danielle de Rossi’s goal.
Lorenzo Insigne [Napoli]
With his twisting and turning like a twisting, turning thing, his runs and goal attempts he consistently worried Fiorentina, eventually breaking the deadlock after collecting a sublime through ball from Marek Hamsik, then curling his finish past the ‘keeper. Wonderful.
Mohamed Salah [Roma]
As usual his all-running self caused a number of problems down his flank and he played his part in the three points, especially his well taken goal that saw him hammer home a superb Gervinho pull back. Comprehensive.
Gonzalo Higuain [Napoli]
There are few defences that can manage Gonzalo’s pace and clinical finishing and the Viola’s couldn’t as following a pacey one-two with Dries Mertens, he bypassed a defender, before easily slotting the ball past the keeper. Stimulating.
Carlos Bacca [Milan]
Came on for the second half but should have started as he snarled menace from the off, scoring the opener after slamming an Andrea Bertolacci pull-back into the top of the net and almost scored again but for a goal-line clearance. Inspiring.
Special Mentions: Daniele Baselli [Torino], Jose Callejon [Napoli], Marek Hamsik [Napoli], Franco Vasquez [Palermo], Alejandro Gomez [Atalanta], Paul Pogba [Juventus].
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