Italians Abroad: Sirigu continues to shine in goal for PSG
Let’s take a look at how those Italians abroad fared in the latest action of their respective leagues.
France – Ligue 1
Salvatore Sirigu, Paris-Saint Germain
Sirigu was once again in fantastic form for the ambitious capital club in a 1-0 home victory over tricky Lille, crowning his performance with a pair of stunning stops on Frenchman Dimitri Payet. With the clean sheet, the Italian international now has not conceded a single goal in Ligue 1 play since a November 17 2-1 loss to Rennes.
Thiago Motta, Paris-Saint Germain
The former Inter midfielder has had better days, as he was booked early on for simulation before being forced off pitch just 12 minutes into the second half after picking up a knock.
Marco Verratti, Paris-Saint Germain
20 year-old Verratti replaced fellow Italy international Thiago Motta on 57 minutes in Les Parisiens’ shutout victory, going on to complete 89% of his passes and picking up a yellow card for handling late on.
England – Premier League
Davide Santon, Newcastle United
The Magpies received a break over the weekend as FA Cup ties were contested, but will return to action Tuesday away to Aston Villa. Santon has been tipped to retain his usual post at left-back in what would be his 24th straight Premier League start for Alan Pardew’s side.
Mario Balotelli, Manchester City
Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini chose to leave the bad boy striker out of the squad for the Citizens’ FA Cup encounter with Stoke City, further fueling speculation that a departure from the Eastlands club is imminent for Balotelli. The AC Milan transfer target has been included for Tuesday’s matchup with Queens Park Rangers, however, despite the questions surrounding his future,
Fabio Borini, Liverpool
Borini started in the Reds’ embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of third division side Oldham on Sunday, tallying 55 minutes on the pitch before being replaced by Stewart Downing. The former Roma hitman nearly set up a goal with an intelligent backheel to Raheem Stirling in the first half, later missing a golden chance to equalize for the Anfield outfit mere seconds into the second period.
England – League Championship
Marco Cassetti, Watford
Watford’s resident Italian made his 21st start of the campaign at right-back, turning in a workmanlike performance as the Hornets cruised to a 3-0 away win at Nottingham Forest. Cassetti went 70 minutes on the day before making way for Fritz Hall.
Spain – La Liga
Samuele Longo, Espanyol
Longo was on the bench for the Periquitos’ 0-0 draw with Real Zaragoza, but did not make an appearance.
Maurizio Lanzaro, Real Zaragoza
The 30 year-old was not included in the squad for the Blanquillos’ league encounter with Espanyol, one week removed from making his first appearance of the season for the Aragonese side.
Germany – Bundesliga
Cristian Molinaro, Stuttgart
Molinaro featured for Stuttgart in his usual role at left-back in a difficult test against league leaders Bayern Munich. The former Juventus man cracked under the pressure of the gravity of the match, however, playing the opponents’ Mario Mandzukic clear on goal for the opener with a horrendous mistake in a 2-0 loss.
Netherlands - Eredivisie
Graziano Pelle, Feyenoord
The Lecce youth product went the full 90 minutes for Feyenoord in the Rotterdam club’s 0-0 draw with Twente, remaining stuck on 14 goals this season after failing to get on the scoresheet for the second straight week.
Greece – Super League
Leandro Greco, Olympiakos
Olympiakos summer purchase Greco started in midfield for the Greek giants and went 58 minutes before being lifted in favor of the more offensive Kostas Mitroglu in a 1-0 win for the Pireus outfit.
Australia – A-League
Alessandro Del Piero, Sydney FC
The Juventus legend played start to finish as Sydney FC fell 3-1 to Melbourne Victory on Saturday, failing to follow up on his spectacular four-goal showing the previous week in a frustrating defeat for the Sky Blues.
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