Dries Mertens vs Cagliari (3)
This week we see a return to the list from dries Mertens. He hasn’t been recognized on my list since the very beginning of the season. Napoli suffered a really tough loss last weekend’s against Lecce this team still has Ambitions to try to at least make Europe in some capacity but it is going to be difficult they still are in the middle of the table and have yet to really strive for greatness other than their victory against Juventus. In a really tough match against a Cagalri side that started hot but have struggled laltley with still a puncher’s chance to get into the Europa League. Caglalri are a quality team and on top of that are fighting with Napoli for a potential spot in Europe. A big game with big moments dries Mertens was the difference in the game. Throughout the match he made key plays as he makde their backline uncomfortable regulular as he looked threatening with the pace and athleticism he displays on a constant basis. Napoli needed a boost of energy and dries Mertens supplied it. In the second half he scored a world-class goal it was a Sublime strike to give Napoli a 1-0 lead it was the eventual winner as Napoli held on to earn all three points. However this wasn’t just a goal this was a goal that takes him just a little closer to more history. As he is the second leading goal scorer of all time on top of that he is now one goal away from tying hamsik with 121 goals two more goals this season and he would be the highest goal scorer in club history. He has done this at an incredibly rapid rate playing half as many games as Hamsik. Dries Mertens is not having the season he had last season but if he heats up at the right time he can be the reason why Napoli get back into Europe. It was a really sensation display and an outstanding goal that gets Napoli important three points he’s got 11 goals in all competitions but only 6 in the League this season this performance will give him just a little bit more confidence to take this team to the next level and get them back to where they belong.
Paulo Dybala vs Brescia (3)
After not starting Paulo Dybala last week the league leaders fell to Hellas Verona last weekend. It was a really atrocious performance by Juventus as they continue to try to defend their title. Sarri has been heavily criticized for not using Paulo dybala more consistently this season. Every time he plays they get results. Paulo dybala may be the player of the season this year he is at least in the conversation. Even though he only has six goals and three assists in the League this season he certainly is at that level. He is genuinely creating chances and converting on them when he’s given that opportunity. In a tough game against Bresia Juventus had an opportunity to go to the top of the league after losing their place last weak. It was a tough game that had its growing pains but Paulo Dybala made the impact he was the x-facotr without Cristiano Ronaldo who was rested for the Champions League. Paulo dybala showed everyone why he has been the best player on Juventus this season don’t just take my word for it many fans of the Juventus believe Paulo dybala is the biggest difference maker. In a game without Ronaldo he proved it yet again. Every season he seems to put together quality performances but doesn’t get the chance or the opportunities that he deserves. Paulo dybala should be starting every single game. At this point in his career I think he is better than Cristiano Ronaldo when he is given time and belief to operate he is sensational and that’s saying something becuasr Ronaldo is still unreal. This week was another example of why Dybla is such a special talent Juvnetus cannot afford to waste. Without Paulo dybala the club’s Ambitions of Champions League title will not occur. Put Ronaldo and dybala together and you can win anything a really important display as Paulo dybala leads Juventus back to the top of the league.
Marco Mancosu vs SPAL(2)
Lecce slowly but surely are driving themselves away from the danger zone and closer to mid-table. This is a team that has been able to pick up points against some of the bigger teams in the league. They only continued their form against spal a team that is most likely headed down after the season. Matches like these are really important as long as they’re in a relegation type battle or at the bottom half of the table getting points against team like those are really important. They will not be in the danger zone for very long as I feel they will be climbing towards mid-table before not too long. Manasco was the biggest difference in the match as Lecce end up getting three points as he was responsible for two of the three goals. He has eight goals and one assist this season as he is putting together a very productive campaign that looks like will maintain their status in the league be on this season. He is exaclty the player they need right now they’re not out of the dark yet but they are building a campaign that will maintain their place. Manasco gave Lecce an early lead from the penalty spot. Penalty goals are not that important but overall in the game he played a vital role in their victory. Andrea petagna eventually equalized. Then Manonsco came through in the biggest moment of the match. In the second half he showed expert vision as a supplied the eventual winning goal as Lecce pick up another Victory as they start to climb out of the bottom of the table. One goal and one assist for manasco as he earned a place on the performers of the week for just the second time this season this team is playing with momentum and confidence as they start to driving themselves towards mid-table and Manasco is the driving force that can take THIS team away from the bottom of the table as they look for survival.
DONKEY OF THE WEEK: The Officials and Lazio’s Help
The donkey of the week this week goes to the officials and how they are handling some situations this season. I am not claiming or suggesting that there is controversy or corruption within the league I don’t think that’s the case. However the narrative for a new champion in Italian football is a true one. Everybody wants a new winner in the league. Lazio would be exactly that Not only would they be new champions of Italy they have not won the league title in 20 years. The story of Lazio against the odds winning the title would feed that narrative. I don’t believe this is a scandal or any of these teams deserve punishment there’s no electronic signals to the referees but it’s just different. The league is just helping Lazio a little bit where they are reluctant to help others. I don’t mean they are giving the victories away but in terms of the way thing officiated when Lazio plays there’s no denying they are benefiting from the referees. Lazio is a great team and deserve their position in the league and have proven time and time again that they are in this title race. However Lazio has been given 14 penalties which is a league record and we’re just in February. Their biggest star Ciro Immobile has scored 11 penalties that is more the most teams this season. The referees are welcome to call the game the way they like as long as they keep their integrity. If you’re going to officiate a certain way they have to stay consistent in the message. Lazio has scored 8 goals in the 90th minute or later because of the Endless amount of time they have been given in those moments. Most people would like to see a different Champion they do not want to see Juventus again. The VAR is missing penalty decisions red cards and others for a lot of teams but when it comes to Lazio they are benefiting from given penalties that weren’t and other players getting sent off I’m not saying the league itself is helping them but they have to stay consistent. In terms of looking at this entire situation they had helped Lazio even if it doesn’t seem like it. there’s no legal action to be made and I don’t think this is a scandal this is just how football works sometimes. It isn’t such a big deal that it’s changing the narrative over the whole league. It’s still fair game and if they go on to win the league title they would have deserved it however Lazio is benefiting from a lot it’s not just them though it’s been a poor League from the official point of view many times this season I’ve seen countless Roman games Juventus games and Inter Milan games that are not being officiated properly however everything seems to go lazio’s way because they so desperately want a different champion in Italy. all the chips are in front of table. If they want it they will have deserved it but they are benefiting from an awful lot. The donkey of the week goes to the officials Behavior towards Lazio. Looking at the numbers there is no denying what I have just laid out.