Champions League Team of the Week: Arjen Robben, Koke, Toni Kroos
Who stood out in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second legs? Here is the Champions League team of the week from the UCL quarter-final second-leg games.
- Chelsea 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain
- Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Real Madrid
- Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona
- Bayern Munich 3-1 Manchester United
Please comment below with your thoughts.
GK: Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund)
Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was world-class in both legs against Real Madrid.
In Dortmund's 2-0 win over Real, Weidenfeller denied Real right forward Angel Di Maria from the penalty spot and made five saves.
Did you see Cristiano Ronaldo, who did not play the game, jumping up and down and acting as a quasi-manager on the sidelines? He knew his team was in a perilous situation.
Weidenfeller kept the score down in the first leg and was excellent in the second leg when Dortmund mounted a valiant comeback.
Unfortunately for him, his performance is overshadowed by teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan choking right in front of goal, which enabled a Ronaldo-less Real to scrape through.
RB: Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
Philipp Lahm, who has split his time between right-back and a Xavi-like midfield role, resumed his right-back duties for Bayern Munich in a 3-1 win over Manchester United.
Lahm still orchestrated play from the back.
He made three tackles and cut off two passes.
CB: John Terry (Chelsea)
Chelsea centre-back John Terry found himself in a mismatch (on paper) against Paris Saint-Germain centre-forward Edinson Cavani.
Cavani, who had complained about his right forward role, per L'Equipe (h/t ESPN FC), had a chance to prove his point in his preferred No. 9 role with Zlatan Ibrahimovic out.
Well, Cavani came up short.
Terry organised the Chelsea back line and showed leadership on the field knowing one mistake would undo everything.
CB: Miranda (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico Madrid centre-back Miranda was solid in the 1-0 win over Barcelona.
He made nine effective clearances, which was the most in the game.
Miranda shielded the right side of his central area and provided added reinforcement whenever Barca left forward Neymar bypassed Atleti right-back Juanfran.
LB: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
On paper, Paris Saint-Germain had another mismatch: Lucas Moura vs. Cesar Azpilicueta.
Lucas was given the freedom to run at the Chelsea as PSG were front-runners with a 3-1 first-leg advantage.
Did Lucas have some nice dribbles? Yep, you would expect that given his explosive first step.
But who won out in the end? Azpilicueta, because he did his job in limiting Lucas, who did not score or create a goal.
CM: Koke (Atletico Madrid)
By the time Atletico Madrid central midfielder Koke finishes his career, he could be one of the greatest players of his generation.
He is such a complete player: can score, create, tackle and has a great work ethic.
Attitude was what separated Koke from former FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi in Atleti's 1-0 win over Barcelona.
Messi sulked on the right wing (is Barca manager Tata Martino trying to get himself sacked?), while Koke was all over the field trying to make plays (offensively and defensively).
CM: David Luiz (Chelsea)
Chelsea defensive midfielder David Luiz played one of his best games ever as the Blues overcame a 3-1 first-leg deficit against Paris Saint-Germain, winning 2-0 in the second leg and advancing on away goals.
Luiz completed five tackles, intercepted two passes and made four effective clearances.
But do you know what the important statistic was?
No error leading to goal conceded.
CM: Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich)
There are pros and cons of Toni Kroos' performance in Bayern Munich's 3-1 win over Manchester United.
- Pros: Kroos helped Bayern overcome a stubborn United team.
- Cons: If Kroos ups the ante in negotiations over a new contract, could it damage his relationship with management?
"There is no player who you have to give everything to keep. Everyone is replaceable," former FIFA World Cup and European Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer said, per Sky Sports. "He [Kroos] shouldn't raise the stakes too high."
Good luck to Bayern in finding another midfielder who can average 89.3 passes per UEFA Champions League game with a 94.5 pass completion percentage.
RF: Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
Whenever Manchester United left-winger Danny Welbeck did not tightly mark Bayern Munich right-winger Arjen Robben, the Dutchman was always odds on to get by United left-back Patrice Evra.
Evra struggled to cope with Robben's incisive passing, his direct dribbling and ability to make decisive plays.
Robben's goal and assist for Bayern deep-lying forward Thomas Muller safeguarded Bayern from being sucker-punched Chelsea-style.
CF: Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich)
Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic is one of the hardest working centre-forwards in Europe's elite leagues.
When he wasn't throwing his head at crosses, he was dropping deep and trying to win back possession.
In hindsight, Mandzukic's goal was a pivotal moment, as it stopped United from gaining any form of momentum after left-back Patrice Evra had opened the scoring two minutes earlier.
LF: Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)
If not for Eden Hazard's injury, Andre Schurrle would have spent the majority of the game on the bench.
Instead, Hazard strained his calf and Schurrle was thrown on in the 18th minute.
Schurrle should play like this every week because he was forceful, he was resolute in his decision-making and he scored.
He changed the game for Chelsea, which was a big factor in their 2-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain.
Statistics via WhoScored.com.