With AS Roma poised to heap more pressure on Juventus at the top of the Serie A table, it was Napoli who shocked the competition by claiming a 2-0 victory. A worrying trend has developed for Rudi Garcia’s men, who are yet to win against a so-called ‘big’ side this campaign. Losses to Juventus and Bayern Munich were probably expected, but defeat at the hands of Napoli all but confirmed their fragility against the bigger sides.
For the victorious Napoli, Rafael Benitez will be relieved to see a fully recovered Gonzalo Higuain starting to find his best form. The Argentine registered his fifth goal for the season and turned provider for Serie A top scorer Jose Callejon.
Despite that positive result Napoli still find themselves trailing the likes of Sampdoria and Lazio who are all chasing a Champions League spot.
Here’s the best players to come out of the weekend’s action:
1. PAOLO DE CEGLIE (Parma)
The left-back landed at Parma on the last day of the transfer window on loan from Juventus. Two goals against Inter Milan sealed a precious three points for the team and manager Roberto Donadoni, whose position has been under severe scrutiny before the clash.
Ironically, it was a victory that will have reversed the pressure focused on Donadoni and will now see Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri under the microscope.
It was the 28-year-old’s third goal of the campaign and it meant that Parma have six points, just one point shy of climbing out of the relegation zone.
2. PAULO DYBALA (Palermo)
This Argentinean starlet has shot to prominence this term, with three goals and two assists in 10 matches. Surprisingly, Palermo sit on 12 points and are in a comfortable position.
Much of this decent form is down to the side’s 20-year-old striker, who scored a fine goal against a struggling AC Milan outfit.
Dybala is yet to received a U/21 Argentina cap, despite being in his third year at Palermo and first season as the primary striker. If he continues to put in performances like he did at the San Siro, then Palermo may not have any relegation troubles.
3. GONZALO HIGUAIN (Napoli)
It’s safe to say that Higuain is finally doing what he does best. His hat-trick against Verona last week was stunning, but a superb performance against rivals Roma was equally as impressive.
His bicycle kick goal was a thing of beauty and came just after three minutes of play. In the second half he then provided a brilliant ball for his former Real Madrid teammate Callejon to seal an important win.
Higuain’s display sees his side draw closer to a Champions League position, who are now just one point off the coveted spot. He is without a doubt the best striker in the league and after a sluggish start the 26-year-old is firing on all cylinders.
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