An interesting couple of days in Serie A, where Juventus and Roma closed the gap on Napoli and Inter. Let’s take a look at the top five defenders from this week.
1) Alessio Romagnoli: the Milan centre-back was the only defender to score this weekend and therefore separated himself from the competition with 8 points. Romagnoli outduelled Andrea Consigli in the air on a corner kick and found the opening goal against Sassuolo. Milan also gained a clean sheet and really gave up only one clear scoring opportunity, so their backline, who was very leaky to start the season, might be starting to work.
2) Fabrizio Cacciatore, Alessandro Gamberini and Nenad Tomovic: even in a weekend were not many teams earned a clean sheet, many defenders still finished tied with five points. The Chievo ones deserves the token second place because they stopped the potent Napoli attack, holding them scoreless for the second time this season, something only Inter had done before.
3) Elseid Hysaj: Napoli had a clean sheet in the nil-nil draw with Chievo Verona. Hysaj gets the nod over his teammates because, due to the heavy Faouzi Ghoulam injury, who will be sidelined for up to six months with an ACL tear, he is now Napoli’s top option on both defensive flanks and spent time on both positions on Sunday, without skipping a beat. The Partenopei will have to hope Mario Rui returns to form rather quickly to remain well balanced.
4) Matias Silvestre: the Derby della Lanterna was a very intense game and Genoa put constant pressure on Sampdoria, but all in all it conceded only a couple of chances, which the opponents’ forward failed to capitalize on. While his mates back there have rotated, Silvestre has been the steady presence in the Blucerchiati defence. The clean sheet gave him, and Ivan Strinic, five points.
5) Christian Zapata: a second appearance for the Milan defence, which was helped by Sassuolo’s home struggles and Domenico Berardi’s absence. In the last two weeks, Zapata has managed to supplant Mateo Musacchio as right centre-back in the eyes of Vincenzo Montella and has started regularly, which is a surprise considering how much they invested in the former Villareal and that Zapata was unreliable in the last two seasons.
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