Champions League Team of the Week - Odegaard stars Arsenal
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Champions League Team of the Week – Odegaard stars

Champions League Team of the Week:

Our Champions League Team of the Week, as Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund completed the quarter-final line up.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid

It was a brilliant week for goalkeepers in the Champions League, with David Raya’s bouncebackability earning the Arsenal shot-stopper our Player of the Week award. Gregor Kobel was equally outstanding for Borussia Dortmund, though Jan Oblak’s performance for Atletico Madrid was perhaps the finest individual outing.

The Slovenian shot-stopper again underlined why he remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world, denying Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, and Matteo Darmian with fine stops before emerging as the hero of the shootout win over Inter Milan.

Atletico Madrid are a tough nut to crack and he’s a major reason for that.

Right-back: Jules Kounde – Barcelona

Kounde came out on top in one of the big duels of the night as he shut down the threat of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. A strong defensive display from the Frenchman reduced Kvaratskhelia’s impact on the contest, nullifying Napoli’s chief creative source.

Barcelona have been fairly ordinary so far this season, but a convincing win over the Italian champions booked Xavi’s side a place in the last eight.

Centre-back: Pau Cubarsi – Barcelona

Just how does La Masia do it?

Pau Cubarsi is the latest graduate appearing at ease in the senior side at Barcelona, with the 17-year-old centre-back coping comfortably with the threat of Victor Osimhen this week.

Osimhen might be one of the most in-demand centre-forwards in Europe but met his match in the teenager as Barcelona beat Napoli to progress. Some of his passing from deep was exceptional, on a memorable night for the Catalan club’s youth system.

Centre-back: Pepe – Porto

Porto fell short after a shootout defeat to Arsenal but their defensive display over two legs deserves immense credit. Pepe led the Portuguese side’s defilade in north London, as the oldest outfield player in Champions League history held the fort.

The 41-year-old delivered one crucial intervention as he flicked away a dangerous cross that fell invitingly into the Porto penalty area, using all the know-how he has built over two decades at the top to keep Arsenal out.

Left-back: Jakub Kiwior – Arsenal

Jakub Kiwior has grown into his role at Arsenal with the defender having deputised superbly at left-back in recent weeks. Despite Oleksandr Zinchenko’s return to fitness, Kiwior kept his place in the side and produced arguably his best performance in an Arsenal shirt to date.

The Poland international battled brilliantly in his one-on-one defending and proved almost impossible to beat. The shirt is his to lose in Mikel Arteta’s team.

Midfield: Fermin Lopez – Barcelona

Fermin Lopez has proved he belongs at Barcelona this season with the 20-year-old having seized his chance. On loan in the third tier last season, he has cemented a regular role with the Spanish champions this time around and scored a crucial goal in the Champions League this week.

The midfielder’s forward runs were a threat all evening to Napoli and Lopez has shown he’s never afraid to aim for goal. A composed finish set Barcelona on route to a 3-1 win and into the last eight. Was visibly tired before his substitution, a result of his relentless work rate in midfield.

Midfield: Martin Odegaard – Arsenal

Just pure quality.

Martin Odegaard was the orchestrator of Arsenal’s win over Porto with the club captain effortless on the ball. His assist for Leandro Trossard’s goal was sublime, as he danced around a pair of Porto challenges before threading in the Belgian with a perfectly weighted pass.

Odegaard has all the ability to become one of the world’s best. Producing game-changing performances on this stage consistently will take him to that status.

Right-wing: Lamine Yamal – Barcelona

Sometimes when watching Lamine Yamal it’s easy to forget he is just 16 years old.

The youngest-ever player to start a Champions League knockout round game performs with such maturity that he has already established himself as a go-to player for one of world football’s most pressurised clubs.

Against Napoli, Yamal immediately appeared as Barcelona’s biggest threat, attracting defenders around him and releasing the ball to teammates when space appeared. So good one-vs-one, the sky’s the limit.

Left-wing: Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund

Jadon Sancho is back enjoying his football once again and sent Borussia Dortmund into the quarter-finals with the opening goal against PSV Eindhoven.

Sancho struck a low finish of perfect placement into the bottom corner to score his first home goal since returning to Dortmund on loan from Manchester United. The man-of-the-match award was fitting for a performance littered with quality, with the confidence creeping back for Sancho after a tough time in the Premier League.

Forward: Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid

As ever, at the centre of an Atletico Madrid performance. Griezmann’s goal brought Atletico back almost instantly after Inter’s opener at the Metropolitano Stadium and the Frenchman pulled the strings from there on out.

He floated around the pitch and sought to make things happen for the Spanish side, coming close to scoring a second. Only Yann Sommer’s shot-stopping prevented him from adding to his tally, on an evening where Griezmann took control of a crucial clash for his side.

Forward: Memphis Depay – Atletico Madrid

Memphis Depay’s introduction helped turn the tie around for Atletico Madrid after a game-changing cameo from the Dutchman.

On in place of the ineffective Alvaro Morata, Depay injected life into Atletico Madrid’s performance and scored the crucial aggregate equaliser to send the tie with Inter into extra time.

His goal was one of real class, with a perfect first touch to set and a drilled finish into the bottom corner. The 30-year-old has struggled for minutes this season but has built a case for increased opportunity.

Read – Video: Who has been the Premier League Player of the Season?

See more – Ranking the five favourites to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or

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