Serie A Players of the Week – Round 18

widmer

Another eventful Serie A round is in the books, here is the list of players who fared well.

Andrea Consigli: there were seven clean sheets in the last round and a pair of excellent performances by goalkeepers, by Wojciech Szczesny in particular. The Sassuolo player gets the nod here because he saved a Mauro Icardi’s penalty, guessing right on a soft attempt by the striker and preserving his team’s lead.

Silvan Widmer: he was the top performer among defenders thanks to a great showing against Hellas Verona. Not only he contributed to the clean sheet, but he also set up Antonin Barak for the first goal with a nice dish in the box and few minutes later he tapped the ball into the empty net from an angled position after a bad deflection by Nicolas. A total of 11 points for the right back, who has been as reliable as ever since returning from injury.

Medhi Benatia: he scored against his former team after a carom in the box, as both him and Giorgio Chiellini managed to get open on a corner kick and ultimately beat Alisson. He worked diligently on Edin Dzeko the whole night, but he made a mess on an easy ball in the final minutes, giving Patrick Schick a free lane to the goal, but the Czech forward was denied by Szczesny. He collected nine points.

Jordan Lukaku: he relieved Senad Lulic against Crotone and he was energetic as usual. He even opened the score with an easy finish off a perfect Ciro Immobile assist, finding himself at the right place at the right time.

Antonin Barak: he is the gift that keeps on giving for Udinese. He feasted on Verona’s leaky defence and showed both his prowess in the box, as he bagged one after a quality move to shake off a defender, and his range, as he caused the second goal by Widmer with a robust attempt from distance and then scored from the edge of the box in the second half. He totalled 10 points thanks to the brace and the clean sheet.

Iago Falque: his first goal was tied for fastest in Serie A this season, after just 17 seconds, and it was a great score too, as he stretched to hook the ball and deflected it precisely past the opponents’ goalie. The second was much easier as the ball ricocheted in front of him after a try by Daniele Baselli, parried away centrally by Alfred Gomis. His brace was not enough as Torino wasted away the lead late in the game. He tallied eight points.

Senad Lulic: he did not start but was one of the main protagonists as Lazio pulled away late against Crotone. First, he assisted Ciro Immobile’s header with a precise cross, and he could have easily had three more assists, as he set up nicely both Adam Marusic and the Italian striker two more times in the box, but they did not find the back of the net. He took it upon himself in the final minutes, where he broke a defender’s ankle with a nasty hesitation and then scored from in close. He amassed eight points due to the goal, the assist and the clean sheet.

Felipe Anderson: same score as his teammate. He spent few months on the shelf because of a nagging injury, but he is finally back in full form. He assisted Lulic and buried an easy ball against Crotone and more importantly he looked spry, dancing through opponents. If the coach can figure out a way to use him, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile together without hurting the team’s overall balance, the Biancocelesti could become truly devastating.

Mattia Destro: he was decisive in Bologna’s 3-2 win over Chievo Verona. Early in the game, he outduelled Nenad Tomovic in the air on a corner kick, then later he took full advantage of a comical mistake by Fabrizio Cacciatore for an easy goal and gave his team the lead just minutes after the Flying Donkeys appeared to have tied the game for good. Four goals and two assists in the last six games for the maligned centre-forward, who is starting to look like his best self after some poor showings early in the year.

Simone Verdi: he continues to be a force for Bologna and he has taken on even more creative duties with Federico Di Francesco sidelined. On Friday, he sent in the corner kick that Destro buried and then volleyed in a rebound after a poor save by Stefano Sorrentino.

Ciro Immobile: he snapped his unusual three-game slump on Saturday. He assisted Jordan Lukaku for the opening goal with a delicious ball after a great run on the left, then he headed in a nice cross by Senad Lulic. He could have easily had three more goals as the Crotone defence fell apart, but he was a little imprecise in those circumstances. He is breathing down Icardi’s neck in the scorers’ chart.

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