Serie A 2016-17: Team of the Week – Round 15
The three at the top all won as those at the bottom move further away in Serie A, with Juventus demolishing Atalanta, Roma winning in the derby and AC Milan beating Crotone thanks to their in-form frontman.
Inter continued their desperate season as Napoli defeated Stefano Pioli’s men 3-0. Fiorentina found a last minute winner, whilst Sassuolo went back to winning ways.
Empoli were beaten, whilst Pescara found a last minute equaliser to keep on hoping.
Our Team of the Week will see a 4-3-3 formation deployed.
Alex Cordaz – Crotone (3 Team of the Week appearances)
It’s not a surprise that he holds the record of most saves so far, as Crotone suffer against most opponents. It’s not just the quantity of his saves, though, but also the quality. The way he denied M’Baye Niang’s penalty shot was simply sublime. If Crotone are to survive this season a lot will be down to their goalkeeper.
Danilo – Udinese
On the night of Udinese’s celebrations for the 120th anniversary of the birth of the club, the captain performed in a passionate way, not perfect, but battled against Bologna and most importantly smashed home the 93rd minute wonder-strike to get the party started.
Daniele Rugani – Juventus
The elegant centre-back is growing in importance and delivered a clean performance against one of the most in form teams of Serie A. With Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini starting to age, Rugani represents the future of this club.
Kostas Manolas – Roma
It was not one of the most spectacular Roman derbies in history, and a lot of the merit is for the Giallorossi defenders, in contrast with the horrendous mistakes of Lazio’s Wallace. Manolas showed the usual ability both in anticipating and blocking his opponents, giving Balde Diao Keita and Ciro Immobile a very difficult afternoon.
Alex Sandro – Juventus
The physical strength combined with his pace and quality make him one of the world’s best left backs and against Atalanta all his ability shined. As well as giving his opponents almost no chance to hurt Juve, Sandro scored a beauty, dribbling into the pitch and having the brightness to open his left foot to beat the keeper.
Piotr Zielinski – Napoli
The Polish midfielder is the most utilized of the new players and with good reason: he offers the pace and defensive prowless of Allan but delivers the quality that makes him stand out and helps build goals. Against Inter he unlocked the game in the first seven minutes, scoring the opener and putting Marek Hamsik in front of Samir Handanovic to make it 2-0. After that his focus shifted to making sure Inter could not even try and score.
Kevin Strootman – Roma
What a wonderful story he has to tell. From the devastating injury to a decsivie goal in the Derby. If he hadn’t provoked the Lazio players his day would have been perfect. In the Giallorossi midfield Strootman delivered one of his old style performance, dominating over the Biancocelesti.
Radja Nainggolan – Roma (3 apps)
The Ninja performed as a true warrior when it mattered the most, fighting in the derby, combining the spirit with divine quality, both in some class dribbles and in finding (with a bit of luck) the goal that doubled Roma’s lead.
Lorenzo Insigne – Napoli (2 apps)
The Magnifico is finding consistency and lifting Napoli out of a difficult time. Against Inter’s stuttering defence he was an absolute devil, humiliating some of his opponents and finding the 3-0 to complete Maurizio Sarri’s triumph.
Mario Mandzukic – Juventus (2 apps)
The Croatian played up front but was also an added midfielder and an added defender. He was simply everywhere against Atalanta, running after opponents and having the brightness to find the goal that ended the game.
Gianluca Lapadula – AC Milan (3 apps)
First start at the San Siro, first decisive goal in front of his people, after the winning goal in Palermo. Lapadula is on a rise and showed that battling spirit that differentiates him from Carlos Bacca, as well as a stone cold finish to give Vincenzo Montella a crucial victory.