Local Lad Cataldi Is The Derby Day Hero In Week 26 Of Serie A

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With a Rome derby showdown and a top-of-the table clash between Napoli and Juventus, Serie A was not short of exciting fixtures last weekend.

 

Here is the Football Index weekly look at five top performers from the Italian top flight.

 

Luca Ceppitelli (£0.44)

 

Friday night saw Cagliari pull off a tremendous 2-1 win at home to Inter, and perhaps unsurprisingly it was one of their central defenders who put in a star performance in order that they hang on for the three points.

Inter fired no less than 25 shots towards goal, and statistics from Whoscored.com reveal that Cagliari centreback Luca Ceppitelli did everything possible to stop the Nerazzurri from turning the deficit around. During the 90 minutes, 29-year-old made two each of tackles, blocks and clearances, whilst also adding an interception for good measure. While the result added to the away side’s woes, the Sardinians took a huge step forward towards avoiding the drop this season.

 

Andrea Belotti (£1.69)

 

Once a target for the likes of Manchester United, Torino striker Andrea Belotti has seen a huge drop-off in form since having scored 26 goals in 34 Serie matches during the 2016/17 campaign. The 25-year-old has once again struggled this year, and his goal in a 3-0 win over Chievo last weekend marked the end of a seven match drought.

“I put everything into that goal, my determination, my frustration and I am happy to have broken the deadlock in this game,” Belotti told DAZN after the match. “We knew Chievo were going to be difficult to deal with, so when I saw the chance, I smashed it.”

 

Papu Gomez (£1.88)

 

Having opted to stay put at Atalanta despite January offers, Alejandro “Papu” Gomez is in scintillating form during the second half of the season. The pint-sized forward scored a stunning goal in his side’s 3-1 win over Fiorentina on Sunday and created no less than five chances for his team-mates, handing him a well-deserved place in this week’s top five.

 

 

 

Gianluigi Donnarumma (£1.20)

 

Following another superb win versus Sassuolo, last weekend saw AC Milan climb to third place in the table for the first time since 2013. Their defensive record since December is the best of any side in Europe’s top five leagues, the Rossoneri having conceded just five goals in the current year.

A large part of this recent solidity is a return to form for 20-year-old goalkeeping prodigy Gianluigi Donnarumma, who put in a fine performance once again for the Milanese side. Having recovered his confidence under the tutelage of boss Gennaro Gattuso, the latest reports suggest the club are considering offering the youngster an improved contract, one which wold keep him at San Siro until 2024.

 

Danilo Cataldi (£0.56)

 

“I’ve been dreaming of a night like that for a lifetime,” 24-year-old Lazio youth product Danilo Cataldi wrote on his Instagram profile after scoring a goal in the Rome derby at the weekend. Simone Inzaghi’s men pulled off an incredible 3-0 victory over their cross-city rivals, and you could see exactly how much it meant to the home-grown talent when his shot hit the back of the net.

Cataldi was booked in the aftermath of the goal for taking his shirt off, but this was clearly of no consequence to him in what he described as the “best moment” of his career. “Someone could’ve stabbed me and I wouldn’t have felt a thing at that moment!” he confessed to reporters after the match.

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About Author

Chloe Beresford is a freelance Serie A writer who has been featured in Mundial magazine, Guardian Sport and in addition to Football Index, regularly contributes to The Sportsman, Tifo Football, Football Whispers and more. She supports Fiorentina and can often be found in the Curva Fiesole as well as attending as many other matches on the peninsula as possible.

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