Tuesday February 14 2017
Serie A Team of Week 24

With the top three all winning, the gap between them and the chasing pack gets bigger as Dave Taylor selects his best XI from Week 24.

Samir Handanovic [Inter]

Performed a handful of important saves to halt any chance of an Empoli comeback. He was especially alert when beating away an Omar El Kaddouri snapshot and stopping a strong effort from Rade Krunic, plus blocking a Massimo Maccarone strike and a Daniele Croce volley later. Secure.

Ignazio Abate [Milan]

The captain had to soak up some pressure but kept things solid at the back making a number of tackles and clearances and halting a sometimes rampant Lazio, in the process helping Milan come away from Rome with a point. Resolute.

Federico Fazio [Roma]

Has become the man to turn to in the Roma defence and held ultra steady throughout this game. Kept Diego Falcinelli quiet and after making a couple of dozen clearances, interceptions and tackles he was kept busy. Solid.

Leonardo Bonucci [Juventus]

Always an outlet, kept possession very well and struck fear into the hosts with his commitment. A tower in defence he was solid right through and guarded his half of the field comprehensively. Assured.

Faouzi Ghoulam [Napoli]

Always aware of his teammates’ intentions, he controlled his flank and had the best pass percentage of the team. Almost scored from the corner flag at one point and later only an outstanding save from Eugenio Lamanna stopped his free kick from screaming in. Attentive.

Radja Nainggolan [Roma]

Arguably the captain is in some of his best form of his career as he energised his teammates with his positioning and general play. He broke the deadlock when he found a bit of space and slotted a right-footer into the far bottom corner of the net. Competitive.

Piotr Zielinski [Napoli]

At the centre of some of Napoli’s best moves he ghosted into the danger zone several times, supplying passes and key crosses to his forwards. He was eventually rewarded for his good work when he smashed the ball into the far corner for the opener. Responsive.

Borja Valero [Fiorentina]

Although a little pinned back in the first half, he got the game going just before half time when he volleyed a rebound into the far bottom corner of the net. He also played his part in the second goal when he dodged a defender to set up Khuoma Babacar. Comprehensive.

Andrea Belotti [Torino]

The 23-year-old Italian had a great game, menacing with every ball and scoring a superb brace. And although bottom club Pescara looked as awake as a dead iguana at times you can only beat what is put in front of you. Threatening.

Roberto Inglese [Chievo]

What more can you ask than a hat trick away from home, especially as it was with his three shots on target. He frightened the home defenders, who must have continuously felt like Sir Walter Raleigh moments before his beheading. Intimidating.

Gonzalo Higuain [Juventus]

He looked like he was up for the game and scored a magnificent brace either side ofthe first half. His first saw him dink the ball over the ‘keeper while his second came at the end of a clever move with Pipita finally driving the ball home. Menacing.

Special Mentions: Federico Bernardeschi [Fiorentina], Iago Falque [Torino], Alejandro Gomez [Atalanta], Luis Muriel [Sampdoria], Dries Mertens [Napoli] Gianluigi Donnarumma [Milan], Rafael Toloi [Atalanta], Andrea Conti [Atalanta].

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