Coming into round 19 of this Serie A season, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was contemplating whether to start away to Sassuolo with Musa Barrow or Josip Ilicic in his starting XI.
The former got the nod, but it was the latter who stole the show in Reggio Emilia after his 63rd-minute introduction for the Gambian forward.
Barrow was far from poor, but Ilicic lit up the Mapei Stadium, bagging a stunning hat-trick in just 30 minutes on the pitch, making it impossible to overlook him in our search for Forza Italian Football’s Player of the Week.
Showing his otherworldly understanding with La Dea captain and playmaker Papu Gomez, Ilicic delighted the travelling Bergamaschi and put what had been a close game beyond any doubt as Atalanta ran out 6-2 winners.
It is only the latest treble on the road for the Slovenian this calendar year and he incidentally became the first player in Serie A history to score three hat-tricks away from home in one year.