Christian Abbiati (Milan): Bari hitman Barreto may begin to have nightmares about the returning shot stopper, who first saved his curling freekick and then also showed lightening quick reflexes to rob the Brazilian from the penalty spot!
Lucio (Inter): After Inter had their two centre-backs, Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba sent off in the first-half, the Brazilian put in a massive effort to lead the backline of the nine-man Nerazzurri. On the ground or in the air, Sampdoria never were able to beat him and he will hope for a repeat performance against Didier Drogba on Wednesday.
Juan (Roma): The other Brazilian in our backline was rock solid as he completely dominated Catania’s Maxi Lopez. He read the game beautifully and the one time he did commit an error in the match, he immediately made up for it with a brilliant sliding challenge just outside the area.
Lorenzo Ariaudo (Cagliari): The Juventus-owned youngster showed his potential with a secure display to nullify the likes of Jonathan Biabiany and Hernan Crespo as the Isolani continued to their good form with a 2-0 victory over Parma.
Andrea Cossu (Cagliari): Even the player himself could not believe reports of being linked with Barcelona, but certainly his performances this season have been of the highest class. Against Parma, he was both untouchable and unpredictable, once again commanding the play in midfield.
Esteban Cambiasso (Inter): The Argentine is one of the most intuitive players in Serie Aand has excellent positional sense. Before Inter went down to nine he did well winning tackles in midfield and then he adapted to being part of the back four with no trouble, never making a misstep.
Diego (Juventus): The Brazilian is beginning to settle in Turin and you can see he is much more comfortable pulling the strings under coach Alberto Zaccheroni. The player ghosted past three defenders before slotting in the opener against Bologna and also hit the post from close range. This is the midfielder Werder Bremen fans remember.
Ronaldinho (Milan): I think it is safe to say it’s official. ‘Dinho is back and enjoying his football again. There is magic in his boots, as his dribbling and passing cause paramount problems for the opposition. The Brazilian set up both goals at the Stadio San San Nicola, the first with a quite exquisite pass to Marco Borriello.
Robert Acquafresca (Genoa): The striker has found himself in our Worst XI a few times this season already while with Atalanta, but he has fared much better since joining the Grifoni during the winter transfer window and showed he hasn’t lost his goal-scoring instinct with a brace against Udinese.
Mirko Vucinic (Roma): Without Luca Toni and Francesco Totti, someone had to pick up the slack and the Montenegro international did an exceptional job. He opened the scoring on 15 minutes by pouncing on a set-piece and then was dangerous every time he had possession.
Lucio – Juan – Ariaudo
Cossu – Cambiasso – Diego – Vargas
Ronaldinho – Acquafresca – Vucinic
Javier Zanetti (Inter)
Daniele Gastaldello (Sampdoria)
Sergio Pellissier (Chievo)
Stefano Sorrentino (Chievo)
Gaby Mudingayi (Bologna)
Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)
Antonio Candreva (Juventus)
Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
Michael Agazzi (Cagliari)
Andrea Lazzari (Cagliari)
Alessandro Matri (Cagliari)
Antonio Nocerino (Palermo)
Pablo Hernandez (Palermo)
Cristian Maggio (Napoli)
Marco Borriello (Milan)
Christian Abbiati [Milan]
Enjoyed a terrific game saving a penalty and a stupendous free-kick from the normally deadly Barreto. Unafraid to leave his line, in one particular incident came screaming out to snatch the ball off Alvarez. Confident.
On as a sub the Brazilian played as if two men, making several crucial blocks, especially against a Zauri effort. Also made some important defensive headers, including clearing Samp’s only corner in the last minute. Motivated.
Javier Zanetti [Inter]
Never gets tired and like teammate Lucio did the work of two players. Samp’s forwards came across the Rock of Gibraltar as he guarded the way to the goal with the power of a fleet of destroyers. Classy.
As ever a giant in defence where his 100 per cent commitment shone through in every tackle. Kept Lopez and Mascara quiet throughout. Intimidating.
Antonio Busce [Bologna]
The former Reggina veteran was in the right place to slot home his goal after getting away from De Ceglie. Forever pushing forward but never forgot his defensive duties and dispossessed Amauri when he was set to shoot. Experienced.
Juan Vargas [Fiorentina]
The Peruvian has had better games but you can’t argue with his splendid volleyed goal from outside the area that gave Rubinho no chance. After that he came alive and his clever assist for Gilardino was delightful. Skillful.
Esteban Cambiasso [Inter]
Can do the job almost blindfolded and before the sending offs he was the ultimate defensive midfielder. Had no problems when slipping back into defence and never gave Samp a chance to exploit their numerical advantage. Unflappable.
Always alert the Brazilian scored his goal by being the first to the rebound. Forever aware of the movement of others, he was the pendulum of the team as he regulated and controlled the Juve attack. Pivotal.
Mirko Vucinic [Roma]
The Montenegro striker was a constant danger, never giving the Catania defence a moment’s rest. Scored with a volley that flew into the net from a few yards out and only Andujar’s agility stopped him scoring another. Menacing.
Robert Aquafresca [Genoa]
Quick reflexes saw him snap up his first goal from close range. Won and then converted a penalty sending Handanovic completely the wrong way for his second goal since leaving Atalanta. Composed.
The Brazilian has regularly made the team of the week recently and on this performance you can see why. He is obviously enjoying his football, can’t stop smiling and had the time and guile to set up both goals. Supernatural.