Week 19 of Serie A was as eventful as usual, witnessing the requisite drama with a slew of improbable upsets and a rash of red cards. From the fire and the flames, let's see who emerged unscathed and take a look at the best XI from the latest round of the Italian top flight.
Mattia Perin, Pescara
The highly-touted 20 year-old showed just why he has been tipped for a bright future by so many around the peninsula, single-handedly keeping Vincenzo Montella's dangerous Fiorentina at bay to allow his minnows to walk away with a shocking three points. Perin made a number of sensational saves to frustrate the Viola, denying Luca Toni early on among many en route to tallying an incomprehensible 15 saves.
Daniele Gastaldello, Sampdoria
Wily veteran Gastaldello was key to the Blucerchiati's unthinkable upset of his former club on Sunday, manning the barricades with experienced presence after Gaetano Berardi was sent off on 31 minutes and controlling the pacy Sebastian Giovinco with intelligence. The once-capped Italy international was also imperious in the air, never losing out on a single vertical challenge throughout the match.
Andre Dias, Lazio
Lazio's Brazilian at the back was the cog in the defense on the day, battling constantly with Cagliari's physically swift and mentally inspired forwards in a competitive encounter. Dias made several crucial individual plays, clearing a Marco Sau follow-up off the line early on and twice expertly dispossessing Victor Ibarbo in the second half when threateningly one-on-one with the Colombian.
Michele Canini, Genoa
The Italian was utterly oppressive in the rearguard as the Rossoblu claimed their first win in Serie A since November, stifling any and all attempts at offensive production by Alberto Gilardino. Finishing with a total of 8 tackles in the game, Canini was the exemplary force in defense that led to Genoa performing with grinta at last.
Abdoulay Konko, Lazio
Konko turned in a fantastically versatile shift in the Aquile's comeback win at the Stadio Olimpico, bossing the right flank with his marauding runs whilst never ignoring his defensive duties. The 28 year-old Frenchman was deservedly responsible for bringing his side back on terms, sliding in at the back post to tuck home Giuseppe Biava's headed assists across the face of goal.
Juan Zuniga, Napoli
The Colombian international was involved in all facets of the game, pressuring Roma on the counter attack with his pace, darting runs, and dribbling abilities whilst not affording Erik Lamela space and time to operate for the Giallorossi on the defensive end. Zuniga also provided well for his teammates with accurate distribution and served as an effective link in midfield when necessary.
Andrea Lazzari, Udinese
Lazzari was relentless in his pursuit of the opposition when Inter held possession, harassing and haranguing Antonio Cassano, Javier Zanetti, and Fredy Guarin all to the point of frustration. In the second half, the Italian put on display the more refined aspects of his game, providing the assist on each of Antonio Di Natale's goals with pinpoint-accurate service.
Pedro Obiang, Sampdoria
The highly sought-after youngster shone on the brightest of stages, competing fiercely from start to finish in what will undoubtedly go down as the upset of the season. Obiang never allowed Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo a moment's respite, and in addition calmly provided the final ball to release Mauro Icardi for the decisive goal.
Edinson Cavani, Napoli
What words could possibly serve to capture the essence of such a prolific striker? Cavani prowled the offensive third with the hunger of a rabid wolf, ready to pounce at the first sign of defensive frailty, and finished the day with a duly earned hat-trick to lead the recently struggling Partenopei into third place in the table.
Mauro Icardi, Sampdoria
Icardi's cracking brace to fell the Bianconeri giant at Juventus Stadium on Sunday was truly a sight to see- a young hero forged in the raging fire of hell that is an arena which has witnessed its tenants defeated just once. The Argentine first caught out Buffon with a dipping half-volley across the face of goal, later leaving the storied shot stopper stupefied on the goal line with a thunderous missile into the roof of the net from the most difficult of angles.
Antonio Di Natale, Udinese
The diminutive Zebrette miracle man worked his magic once again, dispatching the mighty Nerazzurri with the clinical precision of a surgeon. Di Natale recorded a brace to open and close Udinese's account on the day, also coming within inches of netting a delectable free-kick in the first half when his swerving free-kick cracked off the upright with such force that former teammate Samir Handanovic cracked a smile of appreciation.