Kevin De Bruyne of Man City gestures during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 first leg match between F.C. Copenhagen and Manchester City at Parken Stadium on February 13, 2024 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/Getty Images)
Man City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
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Champions League Team of the Week for the last-16

The Champions League knockout stages are back, so here is our team of the week from the opening four games of the last-16. 

GK: Andriy Lunin – Real Madrid

No Thibaut Courtois? No problem. Andriy Lunin is filling that void superbly, as he showed on Tuesday when he was equal to all nine of Leipzig’s shots on target, including two late saves which assured victory for Los Blancos. After the game Carlo Ancelotti said it was the Ukrainian’s “best game” for the club.

CB: Aurelien Tchouameni – Real Madrid

Madrid’s injury crisis at centre-back has forced Ancelotti’s hand, meaning Aurelien Tchouameni has been shifted into a makeshift backline. We’re convinced the Frenchman can play anywhere though, as he seems to perform no matter what position he’s in. A midfielder by trade, he was excellent in the 1-0 win over Leipzig – little wonder the manager believes he could be “one of the best centre-backs in the world”.

Four things we learned from the Champions League last-16

CB: Ruben Dias – Man City

Manchester City couldn’t keep a clean sheet against FC Copenhagen, but they utterly dominated the Danish side from front to back. Ruben Dias appears to be getting back to his best form, winning four aerial duels, completing eight successful tackles and completing 97.5 percent of his passes on Tuesday.

CB: Mario Gila – Lazio

Lazio put in an impressive defensive shift on Wednesday, as Bayern Munich failed to get a single shot on target, winning 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico. Mario Gila was their star man in the backline, making two interceptions and completing three successful tackles.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne – Man City

After being out for five months with an injury Kevin De Bruyne has returned with a bang. In his first Champions League outing of the season the Belgian scored a goal and provided the assist for the other two in a 3-1 win. He’s now registered two goals and seven assists since his recovery.

 

CM: Phil Foden – Man City

You could flip a coin between Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva for this slot and no one would argue too much either way about who gets in. On this occasion the Englishman wins the toss after another brilliant display, providing a sumptuous pass for De Bruyne’s opener before his teammate returned the favour for the third goal.

Man City set new Champions League record

CM: Brahim Diaz – Real Madrid

Replacing Jude Bellingham is a tall task, but Brahim Diaz was up to the challenge this week, scoring the only goal in Real Madrid’s win over Leipzig. It was a superb solo effort, weaving past a host of defenders before slotting it past Peter Gulacsi.

https://twitter.com/A10Atef/status/1757529848791040194

RW: Gustav Isaksen – Lazio

On a disastrous night for Bayern Munich, Gustav Isaksen was a real handful on the right side for the six-time winners. The Dane could have opened the scoring after making a brilliant run early in the second half, but Manuel Neuer was equal to his effort. But he did win the penalty that saw Dayot Upamecano sent off and Ciro Immobile converted for a famous win.

 

LW: Bradley Barcola – PSG

Paris Saint-Germain seem to have found themselves a star in the making after signing Bradley Barcola from Lyon last year. The French winger was was a menace on Wednesday evening, and the Real Sociedad defenders never got a handle on him. He consistently ran past them at will with the ball, most notably for the second goal in a 2-0 win.

CF: Kylian Mbappe

While speculation around his future continues to swirl around, Kylian Mbappe continues to punish defences and score goals. The 25-year-old’s movement for the opening goal was perfect, slipping behind his marker before meeting the ball at the back post.

Read – Real Madrid building a super team without vanity of past regimes

See Also – The best defensive records in Europe’s top five leagues

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