Here is Italian Football Daily’s Serie A Team of the Week for Matchday 23
Orestis Karnezis (Udinese): Udinese almost secured a valuable three points away at Empoli on Wednesday evening after Orestis Karnezis saved Riccardo Saponara’s penalty, but a late Manuel Pucciarelli goal meant that Empoli stole a point.
Ignazio Abate (AC Milan): AC Milan made it back-to-back clean sheets in Serie A as they secured a 2-0 victory at Palermo, and Ignazio Abate in particular had a very good game. The Italian right-back was solid defensively and provided the assist that led to Carlos Bacca opening the scoring.
Leonardo Blanchard (Frosinone): Frosinone had to play a tough Bologna side on Wednesday evening, but their defensive solidity – led by Leonardo Blanchard – ensured that they were unable to get through. A late Federico Dionisi penalty pushes Frosinone up level on points with Carpi, five away from 17th-placed Sampdoria.
Ervin Zukanović (AS Roma): After making a great impression on his debut against Frosinone on Saturday, Zukanović continued to impress as Roma went to Sassuolo and kept a clean sheet. Despite most of the defence being out injured, and Daniele De Rossi having to come off during the game, the Bosnian has stepped up and shown that he can be a valuable player as Roma chase the final Champions League spot.
Borja Valero (Fiorentina): Fiorentina have been having an excellent season so far and Borja Valero in midfield has been a key component of that. He opened the scoring against Carpi after receiving a pass by Josip Iličić and finished coolly past Vid Belec. Fiorentina then dominated the ball and Valero was instrumental in creating opportunities. Despite Carpi equalising, a late bit of brilliance by Mauro Zárate gave La Viola all three points.
Leandro Paredes (Empoli): Empoli’s on-loan midfielder Leandro Paredes has been playing very well this season and continued that form against Udinese. The Argentine was at the heart of everything, accumulating over 100 touches, and creating in midfield – alongside Piotr Zieliński.
José Callejón (Napoli): José Callejón continued his great form from the weekend, where he scored two and set one up, by providing another assist – this time for Gonzalo Higuaín (he has 23 goals in 23 games now) – and lobbing Federico Marchetti. The Spaniard now has 10 goals for the season, along with nine assists.
Mohamed Salah (AS Roma): Roma began the game with Diego Perotti in the false nine position, making his debut in the process, and with Mohamed Salah and Stephan El Shaarawy on the wings. Salah was a constant threat down the right and got on the scoresheet after curling an excellent shot into the corner of Andrea Consigli’s goal.
Paweł Wszołek (Hellas Verona): Paweł Wszołek was excellent for Verona as they beat Atalanta to record their first win of the season, at the 23rd attempt. The Polish wide-man secured both assists in the game to give the Gialloblu a ray of hope in their quest to avoid the drop.
Mauro Icardi (Inter): Despite missing a penalty in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday, Icardi bounced back with a goal in Inter’s 1-0 win over Chievo. The Argentine also hit the woodwork and was a constant pest for Boštjan Cesar and Nicolás Spolli to deal with.
Andrea Belotti (Torino): Andrea Belotti was in excellent form against an out-of-form Sampdoria as his two goals secured a 2-2 draw for the Granata. The 22-year-old scored with both of his shots on target, the second of which was a 94th minute equaliser to further add to Vincenzo Montella’s woes.