Serie A Team of the Week – Round 22

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Some familiar faces and some newcomers in this round’s Serie A Team of the Week.

Emiliano Viviano: there was some superb goalkeeping in the last weekend, with Roma’s Alisson and Cagliari’s Rafael standing out with terrific saves. However, the nod goes to the Sampdoria’s no.2, who kept the clean sheet, neutralized a penalty kicked by Alessandro Florenzi and made few other decisive interventions.

Andrea Masiello: he was the top earner this week with nine points, thanks to the goal and the clean sheet. Gian Piero Gasperini’s schemes on set pieces once again worked out nicely for Atalanta and the veteran centre-back found himself wide open at the end of Josip Ilicic’s free kick, with a big help from Andrea Consigli’s mistake.

Nicola Murru: he got the start at left back over Ivan Strinic, who was dealing with back spasms, and had a decent game defensively, where he had to deal with Stephan El Shaarawy, Cengiz Under and Lorenzo Pellegrini, but, most importantly, he contributed to the game-winning goal with a fine play down the flank and a precise cross to Duvan Zapata. He got six points.

Medhi Benatia: yet another appearance in this column for the Moroccan CB, as Juventus got a clean sheet and did not suffer at all against Chievo, which were fielding a very conservative XI and spent most of the game down one man. He is in the zone and it shows in the little things as well. He earned six points, like most of the other defenders whose team did not concede any goal.

Dries Mertens: he followed up the great performance in Bergamo with exquisite display against Bologna. He kept his cool from the penalty spot for the 2-1 goal, then bagged another one in the second half with a fantastic curly shot after a swift move. He is back and collected eight points thanks to the brace.

Iago Falque: eight points for the Spaniard as well, thanks to a goal, an assist and the clean sheet. He continues to lead the charge for the Belotti-less Torino. He found the opening goal with a relatively easy header after one of his customary deep cuts and he also assisted Mbaye Niang for the second score with a pin-point pass.

Felipe Anderson: he had a good impact in the Milan game, where he tried to do damage using his speed. His eight points, however, were collected in the midweek tilt against Udinese, where he ran circles around the Bianconeri’s defence, assisted Luis Nani e rounded up the score in the final minutes.

Sami Khedira: Juventus had to labour to get past an undermanned Chievo team that defended very diligently all game long. The German international finally broke the deadlock with robust finish in the box off a Federico Bernardeschi feed. He obtained six points thanks to the goal and the clean sheet.

Valon Behrami: he returned after missing few games with a hamstring strain and his impact was palpable as he added a ton of muscles and order in Udinese’s midfield. On top of that, he left Mattia Perin flat-footed with a precise shot from just outside the box for what turned out to be the deciding goal of the game. Six points for him as well.

Moise Kean: he was the only striker to score multiple goals in the last weekend. Verona got the lead early thanks to Vukovic off a corner kick, then feasted on the room Fiorentina left open trying to equalize. The teenager found himself at the right place at the right time for two easy scores, which earned him seven points, because he was also booked.

Duvan Zapata: few strikers amassed four points this week thanks to a single goal, but none was bigger than Zapata’s one at Olimpico. After battling all night long with Kostas Manolas, Juan Jesus and Alisson, he just had to push into the net a cross by Murru very late in the game for a clutch goal.

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