Sports Mole's Serie A Team of the Week

Sports Mole selects the 11 performers who shone in Serie A from a packed 12th round of action over the weekend.

Juventus are back in the driving seat for their third successive Scudetto after they closed the gap on league leaders Roma to one point in Serie A at the weekend with a 3-0 win over Napoli in Sunday's showdown in Turin.

Antonio Conte's men moved within striking distance of the Giallorossi after they dropped points at home to Sassuolo on Sunday afternoon, with Domenico Berardi's injury-time equaliser enough for the visitors to earn a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico.

The chasing pack kept pace as Fiorentina and Inter Milan recorded victories over Sampdoria and Livorno respectively, but AC Milan's struggles continued with a draw at rock-bottom AC Chievo Verona.

Gian Piero Gasperini's Genoa kept their revival firmly on track with a 2-0 win over Hellas Verona, while Atalanta and Cagliari were both 2-1 victors to ease fears over relegation trouble.

Here, Sports Mole selects the 11 star performers who shone in Serie A at the weekend as we approach the international break.

Gianluca Pegolo (Sassuolo)
An impressive display from goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo ensured that Sassuolo stayed in touch with league leaders Roma on a busy afternoon for the veteran. Pegolo produced a string of fine saves to keep Rudi Garcia's side at bay and was rewarded deep into stoppage-time when Berardi's thunderous drive earned the visitors an unlikely late point.

Dario Dainelli (Chievo)
Chievo's veteran defender managed to keep AC Milan at bay at the weekend, with Alessandro Matri, Kaka and Robinho kept quiet enough for the rock-bottom side to earn a vital point. Milan controlled possession but were unable to break down a stubborn defence led by Daninelli, with clear-cut chances kept to a minimum for the Rossoneri.
Daniele Portanova (Genoa)
Portanova produced a commanding performance at the weekend against Hellas Verona, powering home the opening goal with a header as Genoa maintained their fine run of recent form. That effort capped an impressive display from the defender, who kept Luca Toni and Jorginho on the back foot throughout the afternoon.
Javier Zanetti (Inter)
A sentimental one this but still well worth an inclusion, as Javier Zanetti ended a seven-month spell on the sidelines with an appearance from the bench against Livorno. The 40-year-old's career was put in jeopardy by an Achilles injury last April but he responded with typical style and grace on Saturday, making an emotional return at the San Siro as Walter Mazzarri's men closed out a comfortable home win.

Matuzalem (Genoa)
Genoa's Brazilian veteran was instrumental in their success over Verona last weekend, creating both goals with fine crosses as the Rossoblu took full advantage of set-piece situations to go seventh in Serie A.
Andrea Pirlo (Juve)
Andrea Pirlo gave everyone a timely reminder of his quality against Napoli on Sunday night, calming fears late in the match with a perfectly-placed free kick as the Old Lady closed out a vital home win. That trademark strike typified a virtuoso display that saw Pirlo dictate play for long spells - surely a convincing sign for Juve bosses that their midfield linchpin is well worth a new contract.
Paul Pogba (Juve)
Not to be outdone for the Bianonceri was Paul Pogba, who smashed home a spectacular volley just moments after Pirlo's free kick. Pogba's blistering effort was the exclamation mark on a strong performance full of running and energy, with the French youngster fast becoming the heartbeat of Juve's midfield.
Daniele Conti (Cagliari)
Cagliari's captain Conte produced a match-winning display in Trieste yesterday, with his brace completed in the 87th minute just as the match was dwindling towards a draw. His first goal deserves all the plaudits, though, curling a clever free kick into the top corner from distance.
Keita (Lazio)
Lazio's starlet Keita Balde is fast becoming the bright spot of a difficult season for the Aquile, opening the scoring at Parma on Sunday as a mazy run and dribble led to the youngster finding the far corner. The ex-Barcelona academy prospect caused problems all afternoon with direct running and pace, a theme that we can expect to see plenty more of this season.

Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina)
La Viola's top scorer continued a fine start to the campaign at Sampdoria, with a brace taking his tally for the campaign to 12 in all competitions. Rossi followed a chipped penalty kick with a measured curling effort into the corner, maintaining the form and fitness that has made him the leading marksman in Serie A so far this season.
Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo)
The surprise package in terms of Serie A's scoring charts this season has no doubt been Berardi, with the Juventus loanee finding the target six times for newly-promoted Sassuolo. The 19-year-old makes our starting XI for the second week in succession for a 94th-minute equaliser at Roma, becoming the first visiting player to score at the Stadio Olimpico this season.

Fiorentina's Borja Valero celebrates after scoring the opener against Cagliari on September 15, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Napoli20163144133151
2Juventus20162249153450
3Inter Milan20126235152042
4Lazio19124348242440
5Roma19123430141639
6Sampdoria199373629730
7Atalanta BCAtalanta208663126530
8Fiorentina207762921828
9AC Milan208482527-228
10Torino2061042827128
11Udinese199193327628
12Bologna2073102330-724
13AC Chievo VeronaChievo205782032-1222
14Genoa205691622-621
15SassuoloSassuolo2063111330-1721
16CagliariCagliari2062121831-1320
17SPALSPAL2036112138-1715
18Crotone2043131338-2515
19Hellas VeronaHellas Verona2034131841-2313
20BeneventoBenevento2021171343-307
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