Here is Italian Football Daily’s Team of the Week for Matchday 37:
Federico Marchetti (Lazio): The 33-year-old shot stopper was vital in the Biancocelesti’s 3-1 win at Carpi as Lazio look to end their season on a high note. Marchetti saved two penalties from Jerry Mbakogu – one that would have given Carpi the lead; the second to prevent the home side from cutting the deficit to 2-1 – and despite conceding late on, had a very strong game as he made a total of eight saves.
Cristian Ansaldi (Genoa): Despite starting off at right-midfield in a midfield five, Ansaldi was shifted to right-back and then to left-back as Genoa got their third away win of the season in the Derby della Madonnina. They beat Sampdoria 3-2, the side they share the Marassi with, to ensure that their rivals did not leapfrog them in the table. The Argentine also got the assist as Leonardo Pavoletti got his 13th goal of the season in the 3rd minute to give the Grifone an early lead.
Philippe Mexes (AC Milan): Mexes got a rare start alongside Alessio Romagnoli and made it count as he put in a solid performance as the Rossoneri beat Bologna 1-0 at the Stadio Renato Dell’Ara. That victory was aided by Amadou Diawara’s sending off for a second booking after 12 minutes, and then Carlos Bacca got the goal as he scored a penalty five minutes before half-time. The defence was able to hold on and secure their 11th clean sheet of the season in Serie A as Milan temporarily jumped up into 6th position, what many to believe to be the final Europa League spot (should Milan lose to Juventus in the Coppa Italia final).
Gastón Silva (Torino): Despite losing against Napoli, the Uruguayan centre-back continued his very good form and was solid at the back for Il Toro. The 22-year-old made three tackles, won two aerial duals, had two successful dribbles, and played the ball out of the back as Giampiero Ventura’s men looked to add to their run of form going into the game. Despite the defeat, Silva can keep his head held high. With reports that Nikola Maksimović may be off in the summer, Silva’s form has shown the Granata that he could be the Serbian’s replacement in the starting line-up.
Federico Viviani (Hellas Verona): The former Roma midfielder got the second goal as Verona beat the champions 2-1 in Luca Toni’s final game to provide the perfect send-off for the 38-year-old. The 24-year-old was also involved in breaking up play in midfield as he made three tackles and was a nuisance for the midfield trio of Sturaro, Asamoah and Lemina.
Radja Nainggolan (AS Roma): On the weekend that his former club Cagliari were promoted back to Serie A, Nainggolan had an excellent game as Roma beat Chievo 3-0 in Sunday’s early fixture to temporarily go second in the table. The Belgian opened the scoring and was involved throughout as he had 99 touches of the ball, along with 86 passes and making three tackles.
Miralem Pjanić (AS Roma): Pjanić has been arguably Roma’s player of the season this year – if not, it would be Nainggolan – and is now in double figures for goals and assists as he got his 10th goal in Serie A, along with his 11th assist. Like Nainggolan, he was a key component in the Giallorossi getting all three points as he finished the game with 110 touches and made 92 passes.
Ivan Perišić (Internazionale): In a pretty underwhelming season for the Nerazzurri, Perišić has been consistently good and has helped them cement 4th position with some standout displays, just like he did on Saturday as Inter beat Empoli 2-1 to guarantee Europa League football for next season. The Croatian got the assist for Mauro Icardi’s goal, and also got on the scoresheet himself as he tapped in the rebound from Stevan Jovetić’s effort in the 40th minute.
Suso (Genoa): Despite minimal playing time at Milan, Suso has looked the part since joining Genoa on loan in January. The 22-year-old got his fifth and sixth goals for the Grifone as they beat Sampdoria 3-0 in the Derby della Lanterna to move up to 10th, avenging their 3-2 defeat to the Blucerchiati earlier in the season. With performances like this, almost reminiscent of former Genoa player Iago Falque, Gian Piero Gasperini will be keen to keep hold of the young Spaniard.
Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli): After Roma overtook Napoli to go 2nd earlier in the day, the Partenopei knew that they needed to win at an in-form Torino. Higuaín hit the bar and got his 33rd goal of the season – the highest figure in Serie A since 1959 – as Napoli won 2-1 to try and secure automatic Champions League football for next season.
Duván Zapata (Udinese): The Napoli loanee got the opening goal in Udinese’s trip to Atalanta, a game that finished 1-1. His goal came after 10 minutes, but he was involved in everything going forward as the Zebrette secured their Serie A safety with the point. That goal was the Colombian frontman’s eighth of the season, and those goals have been vital in a pretty underwhelming campaign for Udinese.