Another week, another win for Juventus and as they cement their position at the top of Serie A on a stormy weekend, Dave Taylor selects his top XI from round 3.
Emiliano Viviano [Sampdoria]
Despite being on the losing side, the 30-year-old was Samp’s man of the match making a series of superlative saves, especially Edin Dzeko’s effort from point blank range and Mohamed Salah’s superb strike. Commanding.
Franck Kessie [Atalanta]
The Ivorian teenager forced the pace venturing upfield on several occasions to threaten Torino. Rewarded for his labours by scoring a penalty that left Joe Hart with as much chance of stopping it as he would of finding jellied eels with a Jagerbomb in a Turin trattoria. Exciting.
Kalidou Koulibaly [Napoli]
Another unyielding performance from the big centre back who made several interceptions and easily kept the hosts quiet with his intelligent movement that cooled any danger before it was allowed to develop. Uncompromising.
A more than solid performance from the Brazilian who, despite a yellow for his intelligent, tactical foul, never shied away from a challenge and repelled all boarders, helping the visitors to a clean sheet. Concrete.
Faouzi Ghoulam [Napoli]
A rock at the back with his solid defending and moved the ball forward leaving Palermo’s Carlos Embalo and Roland Sallai as limp as uprooted weeds. The cherry on the cake was his sublime pull back that set up Marek Hamsik’s opener. Unbending.
Miralem Pjanic [Juventus]
Making his full debut, the Bosnian was like a hawk focusing in on its quarry and menaced Sassuolo throughout. His sense of positioning saw him in the right place to slot home the ball after his header rebounded off the bar. Sensational.
Francesco Totti [Roma]
The veteran turned the game around after coming on for the second half. Out of several magic moments two in particular saw him set up Edin Dzeko for the equaliser before he scored the winning penalty in the last minute. Scintillating.
Marek Hamsik [Napoli]
A man of the match performance with many of Napoli’s best moves involving him. Opened the scoring after collecting a ball from Ghoulam, and allowing it to bounce before putting a screamer into the top corner from eleven yards out. Sparkling.
Ladislav Krejci [Bologna]
The 24-year-old Czech was the hosts’ all-action hero, attacking and defending with equal ferocity and never gave his opposite number Bruno Alves an inch. Also made a fabulous assist for Federico Di Francesco’s goal when he slipped past a defender to put in the perfect pull back. Tremendous.
Gonzalo Higuain [Juventus]
Hit the ground running and scored the opening two goals before the visitors had time to settle and proceeded to torment the Sassuolo defence, who must have felt they were locked in a plastic rubbish bin hurtling down an massive mountain. Magnificent.
Jose Callejon [Napoli]
The Spanish ace was in blistering form and warned Palermo before his brace with a volley that just went over the bar. Eventually he scored Napoli’s second with a cushioned header while his own second slipped through the ‘keeper’s legs. Dazzling.
Special mentions: Sami Khedira [Juventus], Paulo Dybala [Juventus], Federico Di Francesco [Bologna], Mauro Icardi [Inter], Samir Handanovic [Inter], Riccardo Saponara [Empoli].
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