Serie A Team of the Week
Matchweek 13 was an exciting one, with a lot of parity and tight results across Serie A.
While none of the big boys went down, AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli all drew, making the top of the table just as tight as it was before.
Certain players shone through this week, sometimes singlehandedly earning points for their team. Let's take a look at some of the most outstanding performers from the weekend that was.
Goalkeeper: Federico Marchetti
Federico Marchetti turned in a stunning performance to keep a clean sheet against Juventus, winning a point for Lazio all by himself.
He made a string of saves in the second half that were truly world-class, and had he not found his absolute best form, Juve surely would have had one goal, if not a few.
Right-Back: Francesco Pisano
I love players with engines that never run out of energy, and Francesco Pisano had that fire against Inter.
Running down the right flank all game, he did not stop trying to produce something in attack and was not hesitant to sprint back to his defensive position to cover for the inevitable onslaught.
Time and again Yuto Nagatomo failed to produce anything when matched up against Pisano.
Center-Back: Paolo Cannavaro
With a very leader-like display, Paolo Cannavaro played as big a part in Napoli's draw against AC Milan as anyone else.
A typically commanding presence at the back, he rarely let anything get past or over him, and both goals that Napoli conceded were not the results of his mistakes.
While Cannavaro did not produce one of the best defensive displays I've ever seen, his solid, consistent play is commendable.
Center-Back: Giorgio Chiellini
Unfortunately, Lazio did not get forward all that much due to Juventus' enormous advantage in possession, but Giorgio Chiellini halted them in their tracks when they did.
Much like Paolo Cannavaro for Napoli, Chiellini was as strong as a rock at the back, even though he was not throwing his body all over the place to make tackles. A very good game on the whole.
Left-Back: Stefan Radu
Stefan Radu started off a tad bit shakily, but really grew into the game and shut down his flank to halt Mauricio Isla in his tracks.
He had to constantly be on his toes because Lazio were usually on the back foot, but Radu made a few excellent interceptions that kept Juventus at bay.
Midfielder: Arturo Vidal
This game was certainly an indication that Arturo Vidal is back in form and as dangerous as ever.
Orchestrating possession and Juventus' attack from his attacking midfield position, he was always making incisive passes and threatening Lazio's goal.
He almost scored, in fact, with a deflected effort that Federico Marchetti kept out with a world-class stop.
Midfielder: Alberto Aquilani
For a brief period of time, Fiorentina and Atalanta were level, but Alberto Aquilani made absolutely sure that things would be settled by halftime.
Atalanta never recovered from his sumptuous free-kick that found the top corner, and shortly thereafter, he flicked a corner past a helpless goalkeeper to make the score an impossibly disparate 3-1.
As long as Aquilani stays in this goalscoring form, Fiorentina will always have a chance to succeed.
Midfielder: Sergio Almiron
It was a dream return for Sergio Almiron, as he scored both of Catania's goals in their 2-1 victory over Chievo.
A thumping header from a corner-kick opened the scoring on 51 minutes, but just to make sure of the result, Almiron curled in a beauty from range. Many more to the man, but he won't often have days like this.
Forward: Marek Hamsik
Seemingly every time the ball touched Marek Hamsik's feet, you could sense that something special might happen.
Constantly troubling AC Milan's back line, Hamsik was a force that no one could figure out how to contain for much of the match, providing the cross that resulted in Napoli's second goal.
Forward: Marco Sau
A truly remarkable display by Cagliari forward Marco Sau gave his team an improbable point against Inter Milan at the San Siro that easily could have been three.
Answering Inter's first emphatically with a lightning bolt of a strike, he coolly slotted another past Samir Handanovic to make the score 2-1 to the visitors.
A Davide Astori own-goal later on spoiled Sau's day a little bit, but he will be remembering this one for a long time.
Forward: Stephan El Shaarawy
Serie A's top goalscorer and frequent AC Milan rescuer Stephan El Shaarawy performed yet more heroics against Napoli, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 draw with two very well-taken goals.
The first was a real thing of beauty that he curled into the back of the net from a long way out. The second was the result of superb movement and the confidence that good form gives you.
When Robinho served up El Shaarawy perfectly in the 83rd minute, there was no way that he was going to miss that chance. He didn't, of course, and Napoli are thinking about what could have been.
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