Here is Italian Football Daily’s Team of the Week for Matchday 38:
Andrea Consigli (Sassuolo): The 29-year-old made some vital saves as Sassuolo beat Inter 3-1 to finish 6th, the final Europa League spot (should Juventus beat Milan in the Coppa Italia final next weekend). Consigli stopped Éder and Stevan Jovetić with the score at 2-0 to keep the Neroverdi in the game. Despite owner Giorgio Squinzi being a Milan fan, he will be rooting for Juventus this Saturday as a win sees Sassuolo into the Europa League play-off stages.
Elseid Hysaj (Napoli): Since joining from Empoli last summer, the Albanian right-back has been a vital component in Napoli’s attacks down the right, along with adding some solidity at the back. The 22-year-old got an assist against Frosinone as it was from his cross that Gonzalo Higuaín equalled Gunnar Nordahl’s record of 35 goals in one season (he would later break it). Despite falling short of Juventus, there are plenty of reasons for Napoli to be optimistic heading into next season.
Andrea Conti (Atalanta): Atalanta got their first win against Genoa at the Marassi since 1991 thanks to a 2-1 win, and Conti was really solid at right-back as he completely shut down Diego Laxalt, who had a strong game in the derby against Samp last weekend. The 22-year-old was making only his 10th start this season, but his six tackles broke up the play and ensured that the Rossoblu struggled to conjure up chances.
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus): Chiellini was clearly keen to get his first league goal of the season for Juventus and was thwarted by Alberto Brignoli with his first shot on target, but his second was a thunderbolt that went into the top corner. Despite being out injured at times this season, Chiellini has remained a major component at the back for Juventus as they got 22 clean sheets in Serie A this season. That solidity at the back, even during the opening weeks of the season when the champions were not looking too good, ultimately led to the Old Lady’s fifth consecutive title.
Matteo Politano (Sassuolo): Sassuolo faced Inter on the final day and knew that a win would secure 6th, and that’s exactly what they did. The Neroverdi won 3-1 and the Roma loanee Matteo Politano, replacing Domenico Berardi in the starting line-up, got two of the goals and was heavily involved in the other. His first effort deflected off of Jeison Murillo to give Sassuolo the lead; he then played the pass in behind the Inter defence that Alfred Duncan crossed for Lorenzo Pellegrini to score; and his final goal was the last nail in the coffin as his header made it 3-1 to the side from Modena.
Miralem Pjanić (AS Roma): Just as he has done all season, Pjanić was pulling the strings as Roma faced Milan at the San Siro. The Bosnian has been linked with Juventus in the past week, but those rumours clearly didn’t affect him as he was one of the Giallorossi’s best players in a game that they comfortably won 3-1. His assist for Stephan El Shaarawy’s goal was exquisite, and despite finishing third behind Napoli, Roma’s run under Spalletti has been astonishing. So much so that for the first time in Serie A history, three teams (Juventus, Napoli, and Roma) picked up 80+ points in a single season.
Simone Verdi (Carpi): Verdi was in fantastic form as Carpi went to Udinese knowing that they needed a win. The 23-year-old stepped up to calmly convert a penalty after 36 minutes, and then two minutes later scored an outrageous individual goal to give Carpi a two-goal lead. Ultimately Palermo’s win against Verona, however, meant Carpi went straight back down. Hopefully the Biancorosso will be able to bounce back at the first attempt.
Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina): Bernardeschi has made a push to be in Antonio Conte’s squad for the Euros this summer and his performance against Lazio only enhanced his chances. La Viola’s elusive playmaker was involved in all three goals in the first half – scoring one, and getting an assist – along with then hitting the woodwork in the second half as Fiorentina beat Lazio 4-2 to end their season on a high note.
Alejandro Gómez (Atalanta): Papu, as Gómez is often referred to, had an excellent game against Genoa as Atalanta beat the Rossoblu 2-1 at the Marassi. The diminutive winger got two assists – the second an excellent cross for Jasmin Kurtić – and, after recently becoming an Italian citizen, could be an outside shot to be in Conte’s squad for the Euros.
Paulo Dybala (Juventus): The young Argentine got a brace and became the runner up in the race for the capocannoniere with his 19th goal of the season, coming second behind Gonzalo Higuaín (36). Dybala also got nine assists in a fantastic debut campaign that Allegri will be hoping the 22-year-old can build on.
Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli): Gonzalo Higuaín broke Gunnar Nordahl’s 66-year record by scoring a hat-trick against Frosinone to go onto 36 goals for the season, a record in a Serie A campaign. Is there much more to say? What a player.