Serie A Best XI – Round Eight

Alex Meret (7 points): Napoli would have found themselves in an early hole if it was not for his spectacular triple save in the span of ten seconds on point-blank attempts by Darko Lazovic, Matteo Pessina and Mariusz Stepinski.

William Troost-Ekong (5 points): if Udinese are rock-solid at home a lot of the credit goes to their defensive linchpin and to his quiet leadership, which contributed to holding in check the likes of Andrea Belotti and company.

Jeison Murillo (5 points): he and the whole Sampdoria defence had looked very lousy so far, but they finally tightened up against a quality opponent in the first game with Claudio Ranieri at the helm. He and Omar Colley are a strong duo on paper, but they had struggled so far.

Andrea Cistana (5 points): he did a masterful job all night long, in partnership with Jhon Chancellor, on the always fizzy Federico Chiesa and Franck Ribery, one of the toughest assigments in the whole league.

Dejan Kulusevski (8 points): yet another terrific display for the youngster, who set up two teammates with slick passes and capitalized on a schoolboy error by a defender and the goalie to score his second goal of the season. He has already risen in the upper echelon of fantasy midfielders.

Hakan Calhanoglu (6 points): Stefano Pioli used him as left winger to have him more involved in the offense and he looked re-energized. He bagged a great goal with an impressive strike from the right-hand portion of the box, then the touch to glide past an opponent in the box and create Krzysztof Piatek’s chippie was a thing of beauty.

Paolo Faragò (6 points): he spent the summer recovering from hip surgery, but he played with the usual energy in his first appearance of the season and was rewarded with a sweet goal on a deep incursion.

Radja Nainggolan (5 points): he was the one man missing in Cagliari’s stellar start, but he rectified that with a scorcher that paved the way for the win.

Andreas Cornelius (14 points): a rare hat-trick off the bench for the Danish centre-forward, who at Parma is looking like a much more complete player compared to his Atalanta days. The prowess in the air was well-known, then he showed great touch on two strikes from medium range.

Ciro Immobile (9 points): Lazio would be ailing without his relentlessness. Certainly, they would not have tied the Atalanta game if he had not drawn and converted two penalties and he assisted Joaquin Correa’s goal for good measure

Lautaro Martinez (8 points): he edges out the other strikers who also had a brace, Romelu Lukaku, Luis Muriel and Arkadiusz Milik, because his level of dangerousness is off the charts recently and it feels like he can pull off a big play in any moment when he has the ball on his feet. His early curled shot was wicked.

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