LONDON (AP) - Giuseppe Rossi’s hat trick for Fiorentina against Serie A champion Juventus earned him the top player vote in The Associated Press global soccer poll this week, while Roma remained first in the club rankings.
Rossi, the new leading scorer in Serie A with eight goals, inspired his team to an astonishing comeback from 2-0 down by scoring three times in 14 minutes.
“Juventus were leading 2-0 in Florence with less than half an hour to go when `Pepito’ stole the show and turned the game upside down,” said Aurelio Capaldi of RAI Sport in Italy. “He scored a terrific treble and became the nightmare of Juventus defenders. It ended up 4-2 and Fiorentina celebrated an unforgettable day for them.”
Rossi headed off second-placed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored a pair for Paris Saint-Germain including an incredible back-heel flick, and third-placed Miralem Pjanic of Roma.
Pjanic scored both as his side beat second—placed Napoli 2-0 to stay top of Serie A with eight wins in eight games.
“The manner of Roma’s victory on Friday evening against Napoli was almost as eye-opening as the gap it has allowed them to open at the summit of Serie A,” said Richard Winton of The Herald in Scotland. “Rudi Garcia has his side playing some stunning football and to sweep aside a Champions League team in such a way was awesome.”
English Premier League leader Arsenal polled second following its 4-1 demolition of Norwich.
Mesut Ozil scored twice for Arsenal and is fourth in the player vote by 25 global soccer writers, a rise of six places from the previous poll.
Ozil’s Germany teammate, Thomas Mueller, was ninth after he scored twice in Bayern Munich’s 4-1 comeback win over Mainz which gave the club fourth in the poll.
James Thorogood, editor of Bundesliga.com, cited Pep Guardiola’s decision to introduce Mario Goetze at halftime with his team trailing 1-0 as a key moment in the game.
“It was the first time the Bavarians had fallen behind under head coach Pep Guardiola, yet the Spaniard’s masterstroke to throw Goetze into the fray breathed new life into his side,” Thorogood said.
Goetze is eighth in the poll.
Real Madrid polled seventh after its 2-0 home victory against Malaga. The win was particularly important as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid dropped points with a draw against Osasuna and a defeat against Espanyol respectively.
Real are third in La Liga, two points behind Atletico and three away from Barcelona.
Southampton polled 10th after its surprising start continued with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.