Europa League Team of the Week: Jackson Martinez, Arturo Vidal & Luisao All Star

Matt CheethamCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2014

Europa League Team of the Week: Jackson Martinez, Arturo Vidal & Luisao All Star

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Welcome to the latest installment of Bleacher Report's Europa League Team of the Week.

    UEFA's second-class competition served up several marquee fixtures during its round of 16, some even befitting a Champions League schedule.

    Here's a look at the leading performers from the eight first-leg encounters.

     

    All Statistics via WhoScored.com 

GK: Peter Gulacsi, Red Bull Salzburg

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    Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press

    Several goalkeepers were in contention for this spot. 

    Pepe Reina impressed for Napoli, as did Antonio Adan for Real Betis, while Yann Sommer possibly had the best portfolio of saves.

    In terms of sheer volume, however, Peter Gulacsi is a clear winner. The former Liverpool stopper denied each one of FC Basel's eight shots on target, preserving a precious clean sheet for his side. 

RB: Danilo, Porto

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Danilo produced the best performance of the night at right-back.

    The Brazilian was strong in the tackle and typically adventurous going forward, eager to take on his opposite man at every turn.

    His energetic showing was key to his side's impressive win over a surprisingly lacklustre Napoli.

CB: Luisao, Benfica

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Both Benfica centre-backs were outstanding during their win over Tottenham and could have easily made this team.

    The home side struggled to create anything from open play. Emmanuel Adebayor, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado were all expertly nullified.

    If anything, Ezequiel Garay was the better defender, but Luisao's brace decided the match and all but secured a quarter-final berth. 

CB: Stefan Savic, Fiorentina

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Fiorentina's Stefan Savic was equally immense at centre-back during his side's 1-1 draw with Juventus.

    On the ball, he made more passes than any other player on the pitch (70), calmly recycling possession and providing control for his side.

    Off the ball, he continually repelled the home side's threat, making a colossal 11 clearances and leaving Dani Osvaldo feeding off scraps. 

LB: Didac Vila, Real Betis

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    Angel Fernandez/Associated Press

    Didac Vila produced an inspired display at left-back to help Real Betis secure a snatch-and-grab win over Sevilla.

    The visitors had to absorb long periods of pressure and were led by Vila's all-action showing in defence.

    The 24-year-old recorded six tackles, five interceptions and eight clearances during one of his busiest nights of the season. 

CM: Arturo Vidal

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Arturo Vidal produced yet another masterful display in Juventus' midfield.

    The Chile international was arguably the best player on the pitch against Fiorentina, scoring his side's only goalhis 18th of a distingushed season.

    Vidal also hit the woodwork and created another two chances in a typically imposing display. 

CM: Gueida Fofana, Lyon

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Led by a powerful performance from Gueida Fofana, Lyon came from a goal down to thump Viktoria Plzen 4-1.

    The central midfielder dictated the game, registering more touches and passes than any player on the pitch.

    More importantly, he also added two crucial strikes to effectively seal a quarter-final spot. 

AMR: Fede, Valencia

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    Valentina Petrova/Associated Press

    Fede was the star man as Valencia ran riot in Bulgaria.

    The Argentinian winger was central to the away side's remarkable 10-man effort, scoring one and continually tormenting opposing defenders.

    Ludogorets Razgrad could not contain his trickery, fouling him a whopping seven times during the contest.

AML: Rodrigo, Benfica

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    In an especially attacking formation, Rodrigo is shunted out to the left to accommodate his strong showing against Tottenham.

    The former Bolton forward grabbed the all-important first goal, showing impressive touch and poise to calmly slot home.

    He also created another two chances. His attacking movement regularly distorted the home side's defence. 

ST: Alexandre Lacazette, Lyon

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    Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press

    Alexandre Lacazette was another player to shine during Lyon's 4-1 demolition of Viktoria Plzen.

    The French international was involved in most of his side's attacks, creating three chances, including an assist for Fofana's final strike.

    He also scored his side's second goal and was a persistent nuisance to the beleaguered Czechs.

ST: Jackson Martinez, Porto

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Porto's Jackson Martinez earns this team's final spot for his strong showing against tough opposition.

    The Colombian international provided Napoli with a relentless threat, as his side secured a valuable 1-0 win.

    He registered the game's only goal, and only a superb save from Pepe Reina denied him a second strike.