Best XI of Serie A Round 19: Milan Finish Year Strongly

Serie A’s final matches of 2021 were played on Tuesday and Wednesday as clubs head into a two-week break before league action resumes in 2022.

There were no battles between the top six teams in Round 19, but that did nothing to dampen the excitement as the top teams had a pretty tough time with the weaker opponents.

Napoli suffered the biggest shock of the Round 19 as Spezia put a huge dent on the Azzurri’s title hopes with an unexpected 1-0 win. The other matches saw wins for both Milan clubs, with Milan beating Empoli 4-2 and Inter claiming a narrow 1-0 victory over Torino to consolidate their top two places at the top of the table.

Here we take a look at the best stats XI of Serie A Round 19.

Goalkeeper – Ivan Provedel (Spezia)

Spezia are arguably the biggest surprise of Round 19, as they defeated potential title contender Napoli. The visitors were not particularly impressive offensively and recorded no shots on goal, but the team’s goalkeeper Ivan Provedel had a night he will remember for a long time.

The Italian made 6 saves in the game against Napoli and posted an xGC (Expected Goals Conceded) of 1.62, meaning the 27-year-old prevented Napoli from scoring nearly two goals.

FotMob Rating – 8.5

Right-Back / Right Wing-Back – Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)

Juventus won 2-0 for the second game in a row, and for the second straight game, right-back Juan Cuadrado was one of the Bianconeri’s best players.

The Colombian did not score or provide an assist against Cagliari, but he created 2 big scoring chances for his teammates and made 4 key passes. Cuadrado also recovered the ball 8 times.

FotMob Rating – 7.6

Right Centre-Back – Dimitris Nikolaou (Spezia)

Keeping a clean sheet against Napoli is no easy task and will require a top performance from the team’s defence. Centre-back Dimitris Nikolaou led Spezia’s backline by example and thoroughly deserves a place on the list.

The Greek international won 83% of his duels against Napoli’s forwards (5/6), was successful in 2 out of 2 duels (100% success rate) and also made a remarkable 10 ball recoveries.

FotMob Rating – 8.0

Left Centre-Back – Johan Vasquez (Genoa)

If it is already difficult for most Serie A teams to keep a clean sheet against Napoli, it is twice as hard to prevent Atalanta from scoring. Genoa did an excellent job of stopping Atalanta’s attacking machinery, with centre-back Johan Vasquez deserving the biggest plaudits.

The Mexican international was outstanding defensively, winning 14 duels (74% success rate), including 6 successful aerial duels, and recovering the ball 9 times.

FotMob Rating – 8.0

Left-Back / Left Wing-Back – Aleksa Terzic (Fiorentina)

Fiorentina missed the chance to move into the top six with a 1-1 draw against Verona. The Viola were lucky to get a point at all, though, as the equalizer came less than ten minutes from normal time.

Left-back Aleksa Terzic was one of two players to rescue the point for Vincenzo Italiano’s men when he set up Gaetano Castrovilli’s goal in the 81st minute. The Serbian international also recorded a pass rate of 81% and played 2 key passes.

FotMob Rating – 8.5

Defensive Midfielder – Franck Kessie (Milan)

Milan are well in for the title challenge this season and in order to stay in this race until the very end, they must have their star players deliver top class performances.

Defensive midfielder Franck Kessie is arguably one of Milan’s most important players and he proved it in the game against Empoli. The Ivorian scored 2 goals from just 0.17 xG (Expected Goals), indicating a high level of finishing prowess. He also recorded 88% pass completion rate.

FotMob Rating – 9.2

Central Midfielder – Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio)

With a 3-1 win over Venezia in their final game of 2021, Lazio still have a chance to finish in the top four this season. But to achieve that, their key players will need to perform week in, week out.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one player Lazio need to be in top form all the time. The Serbian was outstanding against Venezia, making his sixth assist of the season and also playing 3 key passes.

FotMob Rating – 8.5

Right Midfielder – Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus)

Juventus finished the year strongly with two wins from two games, closing the gap on the top four. Against Cagliari, they were very dominant for the entire 90 minutes, even if some star players remained on the bench.

Federico Bernardeschi was one of those given the chance to prove himself by featuring in the starting eleven, and the Italian did his job brilliantly. The 27-year-old scored Juventus’ second goal to secure the win (xG 0.29).

FotMob Rating – 8.0

Winger – Aaron Hickey (Bologna)

Bologna finished 2021 in style with an impressive 3-0 win over Sassuolo. Aaron Hickey, the team’s winger, was instrumental in this solid performance with his fourth goal of the season. He also completed 91% of his pass attempts (21/23).

FotMob Rating – 8.4

Winger – Alexis Saelemaekers (Milan)

Some of the Milan players have been a bit under the radar this season or have not performed well. Alexis Saelemaekers can be counted among that list, as the Belgian has been far from his best form for most of the season so far.

Nonetheless, the Belgian recorded his third assist of the season against Empoli and made 3 key passes, suggesting that his level of performance is on the rise.

FotMob Rating – 8.5

Winger – Pedro (Lazio)

To finish off our list comes another wide player. After his summer move from Roma to Lazio, Pedro has been a pleasant surprise and one of the better players for the Biancocelesti this season. The Spaniard scored his seventh goal of the season against Venezia, worth just 0.13 xG.

FotMob Rating – 7.8