Serie A Team of the Week – Round 23


Some of the top players delivered in a big way in the last Serie A round: here is the top XI for the last weekend, which is inevitably full of Juventus players.

Alisson: there were a few clean sheets this weekend, but no goalkeeper stood out. The nod here goes to Alisson as a recognition for Roma’s fine defensive work on Sunday on the road against Hellas Verona, where they played for almost a full half down to ten men but still did not allow the opponents to create any clear-cut change. He got 7 points.

Alex Sandro: he was the top defender for this week with 11 points. On top of an easy clean sheet, he scored his team’s opening goal by solving a scrum off a corner kick and later on set up Sami Khedira’s first goal with a slick header.

Gianluca Mancini: a surprise starter on Sunday, he decided the game on a set piece by scoring literally with his chest. Chievo are in big troubles offensively and the youngster fared well in the back. He amassed nine points.

Leandro Castan: Cagliari kept a clean sheet against Spal, which is always a feat for the Sardinian team, and the centre-back got two more points for a fantastic backheeled assist to Marco Sau for their second goal late in the game.

Sami Khedira: two more goals for the German midfielder, who was the top midfielders with 12 points. They were two easy finishes for him, one on the second post on a corner kick and the other at the end of a great run after narrowly beating the offside trap. He capped off his dominating first half by setting up Miralem Pjanic’s stunner with a delicate feed after yet another great cut.

Miralem Pjanic: the Bosnian ace garnered eight points thank to clean sheet, a terrific stroke from long range for his team’s fourth goal of the evening and the timely pass for Sami Khedira’s second goal.

Marek Hamsik: Napoli avoided a trap game in Benevento and the captain sealed the deal in the second half by quickly capitalizing on a mistake by the opponent’s backline after a quick combination between his teammates.

Dries Mertens: Benevento actually started the game pretty well, but Mertens’ delicious lobby at the 20th minute basically did them in. He collected six points like Hamsik. He left the game late with an apparent ankle injury.

Cengiz Under: Eusebio Di Francesco gave him the starting job and the move paid off as it took him just few seconds to shake off a defender and beat Nicolas with a robust shot from distance. It was his first goal for the Giallorossi and also a crucial one, as it allowed them to return to victory after a disappointing period.

Gonzalo Higuain: he joined Juventus’ festival of goals late, but he upstaged everybody with a hat-trick. Three pretty good finishes as well: a crossing one from the edge of the box, then he dribbled past the goalkeeper and deposited the ball in the empty net and finally a delicate flick to beat Consigli who was coming out. He was the top player this week with 14 total points.

Federico Chiesa: a clutch goal by the starlet, who put one defender to the ground with a hesitation move, glided past another and destroyed the net with a thunderous conclusion, which got him four points and more importantly gave Fiorentina a much-needed win.

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