With Napoli regaining second place from Roma it seems it will go down to the ultimate game to decide the second Champions League position as Dave Taylor selects his best XI from Week 37
Federico Marchetti [Lazio]
The veteran shot stopper could even make the Azzurri Euro squad on this showing. After winning the psychological duel with Jerry Mbakogu by saving his two penalties at critical points in the game, the 33-year-old continued his heroics stopping several more attempts. Star.
Thiago Cionek [Palermo]
After arriving from Modena in January, the 30-year-old has turned out to be quite a revelation. He performed magnificently against Fiorentina, who at times looked like they were treading in treacle. Always responsive to danger and timed his tackles to perfection. Commanding.
Sebastian de Maio [Genoa]
Made several crucial interceptions in a typically committed display at the back and Sampdoria had no way of bypassing him. Had to have his wits about him when committing an important tactical foul on a rampant Antonio Cassano. Combatative.
Antonio Rudiger [Roma]
The German was involved at both ends of the pitch maintaining his recent good form and also scoring into the bargain. With the visiting defence showing all the speed of a tree sloth he easily nodded in at the back post from close range following a free kick. Compelling.
Miralem Pjanic [Roma]
Showed his excellent distribution throughout, especially from a free kick when the ball found Rudiger’s head for his goal. Continuing his form in the second half he scored after receiving a sublime ball from Francesco Totti before poking it in. Exceptional.
Ivan Perisic [Inter]
Ivan the Terrible made an assist and scored the winner as his tactical discipline disrupted Empoli’s rhythm. His decisive goal came following a counter attack that left the Tuscans as exposed as a beetle on a bed sheet before he slotted home. Competitive.
Marek Hamsik [Napoli]
Another superb performance by the captain whose two assists were followed by several more attempts. His first saw him put the ball on a plate for Higuain, while his second, coming in fast from the left, meant Jose Callejon only had to touch it to deviate it into the net. Terrific.
Radja Nainggolan [Roma]
Roma’s catalyst played his normal immaculate game worrying the visitors every time he got the ball. He also had several attempts on goal that were saved or blocked in between his opener, which saw him, hammer home from 15 yards. Scintillating.
Gonzalo Higuain [Napoli]
Was on his toes from the word go weaving his way through a wayward defence and menacing with every shot. Scored early after a delightful pass from Marek Hamsik. Following that it was only the ‘keeper and the woodwork that stopped him scoring a hat trick. Complete.
The Spanish hitman was in such fine form it seemed the Samp defenders were playing in cold treacle as he had a hand in the opening goal and scored two. His first a curling left-footer into the far corner, his second saw him slot the ball into an unguarded net. Superb.
Luca Toni [Verona]
It was only fitting that the old man should be on the winning side against the Old Lady in his last game. After going close the soon to be 39-year-old striker eventually scored with a mischievous Paneka-style penalty. Competitive.
Special mentions: Matteo Brighi [Bologna], Armando Izzo [Genoa], Nicola Burdisso [Genoa], Christian Ansaldi [Genoa], Giancarlo Gonzalez Castro [Palermo], Arthur Ionita [Verona], Francesco Totti [Roma].
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