Top 3 Performers and Donkey Of the week Match Day 15 #412

Atalanta Striker Duvan Zapata (2)

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Duvan Zapata was the man of the moment as Atalanta are finally looking like the team we saw a few years ago when they took fourth in the league. We have seen and Sensational turn around after a catastrophic start by their standards. Atalanta we’re hovering near the relegation Zone not that long ago. It had looked like it was going to be a season in which we saw a relegation battle for by a team that nearly made it into Europe this season. For most of the year it has been a hot and cold season for Atalanta. I believe a psychological breakdown mentally cause them to have such a poor start to the season after abandoning a 3-1 lead against Roma during the second match of the season. They have gotten hot and have only kept up they’re excellent form. This weekend against a Udinese team that beat Roma. Zapata made an unlikely return to the list. Duvan Zapata for the longest time has been one of the most under-appreciated Strikers in Italian football. He still technically speaking is owned by Sampdoria after being sold buy a Napoli team who don’t really seem to believe in him as they have continued to send him out on loan sampdoria did the same this season. He’s not someone who’s going to blow you away with statistics. Since he joined a Napoli in 2013 he has scored 52 goals in all competitions. A very solid Striker who still is in the prime of his career. He is a solid goal scorer with frightening pace and he got some Revenge against one of his old teams. Duvan Zabata played with Udinesse from 2015 to 2017 scoring 19 goals for them. He was the standout star in Atalanta’s 3-1 victory over Udinesse. Scoring his first hat-trick of his career as he was absolutely mesmerizing it was a completely dominating performance from 27 year old. He is such an important player for this team not only because of his impact and his performances but his skill-set suits Atalanta’s high pressing attack with a frightening speed with a lot of physical power in his engine. There was nothing the defense could do to stop him. He single-handedly gave new coach Udinesse manager Davie Nicola his first loss in charge. After an unbelievable hattrick and performance this week he has Atlanta thinking of Champions League ambitions. He got into scoring positions almost too easily capping off a Unreal performance of true domination as he just took over earning Another three points for his Atlanta side.  

Sassuolo Midfielder Alfred Duncan

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We saw an absolute Thriller in the 6 goal showcase in Sassuolo’s match against Florentina  this weekend easily one of the best games of the week. It ended in a 3-3 come from behind draw for Florentina as Sassuolo just misses out on Donkey of the week. However a performance by Alfred Duncan stands out as one of the week’s most impressive performances. Alfred Duncan a left back that occasionally plays in the Midfield was a nightmare to deal with. He was ultimately responsible for two of the three goals that they scored in the draw. It wasn’t just what he did in the attacking sense he was a very tough defensively and found passes for his teammates. Alfred Duncan is a very bulky but quick midfielder he is a very hard to control and Florentina had their hands full all game. Alfred Duncan is probably the best player among the second tier teams in Italy. The Sassuolo find themselves in the top 10 in the League this season after finishing 17th last year they have really turned a corner and have continuously played well. Alfred Duncan has made such a huge difference in a lot of different areas. He has quietly having an unbelievable season and his performance this weekend have Justified that. He is a player that deserves to be at a bigger Club and I’m sure teams are aware and on alert of what he has been able to do this season. Despite the result and their inability to pick up the three points that they probably deserved Alfred Duncan individually was one of the best performers this week. He may not get the headlines often but in this match he certainly deserved it with his performance.

Juventus Striker Mario Mandzukic (2) 

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Mario Mandzukic delivered in the biggest game of the season so far for Juventus. A clash in the derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter Milan. Two of the best players in the league in Marco Icardi and Cristiano Ronaldo so much history so much energy and a huge rivalry at the Allianz Stadium. This was always going to be a really tough game for both teams it always is. No matter what the status of the league table is this match proves to be one of the best matches in football and it means so much to both teams Inter Milan and Juventus are two of the most historical teams in World football which makes the game very special. It turned out to be a battle but it wasn’t Marco Icardi it wasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo that made the difference it was the Croatian Hitman Mario Mandzukic. Making the list for the second time this season Mario Mandzukic is a big-game player and has delivered against some of the best teams in the league. He turned out to be a nightmare for The Inter Milan defense given his power athleticism and size a truly physical specimens is always hard to deal with. Inter Milan became a victim of that but what made Mandzukic was so effective was his speed and ability to get into tight spaces. He is nearly was unplayable especially in the box given how much size he has he is are to control. Juventus went on to win 1-0 thanks to a diving header from inside the box as Mario Mandzukic slotted home the winner in the derby d’Italia. Another Sensational performance from Juventus Croatian star. He is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career with 8 goals in 18 games for the 32 year old. Since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo he has been more effective and more consistent in  scoring more goals than he typically is. The two of them have worked incredibly well together given the size and speed of the both of them they really complement each other extremely well. In the game you could just see that the goal was going to come the way they broke down the defense and got into dangerous areas almost on a consistent basis. Mandzukic was just special he created so many defensive problems that Inter Milan’s approach became solely on trying to contain him rather than trying to score themselves that’s how big of a task it ended up being. In another big game he has come through for Juventus. Mario Mandzukic has scored in the two biggest game of the season for the defending Champions as he has scored not only against Inter Milan but he scored in the Napoli game as well as Juventus got six points from those two games. After Sunday night’s performance his value in this team cannot be questioned another excellent performance from Mario Mandzukic.

DONKEY OF THE WEEK: The Teams From Rome

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What happened at the end of the game should not have occurred it is an embarrassment. Cagliari had two players sent off 30 seconds before the equalizer. You cannot allow a team with 9 men to go down and score almost immediately. I don’t think you can really fault Robin Olsen but it should have been decided by the team that they were going to kick it out of bounds there was a literally seconds to go before the game was over there is no need to have sent it all the way to Midfield. Had they gone out of bounds Cagliari would have had to reset and the opportunities that they had would not have happened. A true defensive collapse in the moment you just cannot allow that to happen. Roma were winning this game with 5 minutes to go the collapse is completely unacceptable this is a team that should be pushing Champions League. Lazio’s mishap may not have been as embarrassing as what happened to Roma but they’re not completely out of the dark because they choked away three points in their own right. Lazio scored in stoppage time at the death of the match to temporarily take a 2-1 lead. Then later in stoppage time they allowed  Sampdoria to score a late equalizer as if they were just minutes away from having three points secured both of these teams should be deeply ashamed of how they performed at the end of their games we have no choice but as the city of Rome to share the donkey of the week because both cracked in crucial moments and were denied of the three points by late dramatics.

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