Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema storm into our Champions League team of the round after both scoring twice to humble Liverpool… but only TWO Premier League stars make the XI as English clubs go winless in first legs
- Real Madrid showed they are never dead with a stunning 5-2 win over the Reds
- Elsewhere, Bayern Munich beat PSG 1-0 and Napoli showed they are the real deal
- Sportsmail picks out a Champions League team of the round after the first legs
There really is nothing quite like the Champions League, especially with so many mouth-watering ties taking place in this season’s round of 16.
Liverpool’s thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid provided the biggest talking point, with the European champions showing they are never dead after Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema’s heroics stunned Anfield.
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 and Napoli showed they are the real deal with a dominant 2-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt.
So after the last-16 first legs, which players make it into Sportsmail‘s Champions League team of the round?
Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid thrashed Liverpool in the standout tie of the Champions League last 16 so far
Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund)
Karim Adeyemi’s second-half strike gave Borussia Dortmund the advantage in their tie against Chelsea despite Joao Felix hitting the bar.
Swiss goalkeeper Kobel, 25, had to palm a sweetly struck free-kick from Reece James to safety in the 55th minute.
He made seven saves during an outstanding display, with the Blues failing to find a route past the big stopper.
Kim Min-Jae (Napoli)
Goals from Victor Osimhen and Giovanni Di Lorenzo ensured Napoli ran out comfortable 2-0 winners away at 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt.
South Korean centre-back Min-Jae, 26, has featured in all but one of their 23 Serie A games so far this season, with the current league leaders only conceding 15 goals.
And he was once again immense against Frankfurt after recording seven clearances, one interception and five tackles. He also completed 125 passes of 132.
Swiss goalkeeper Gregor Kobel impressed in Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 win over Chelsea
Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae was immense against Frankfurt after making seven clearances
Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)
Bayern Munich beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 with Kingsley Coman’s second-half strike giving the visitors a deserved advantage.
Upamecano formed a crucial partnership with Matthjis de Ligt at the back on the night.
And the French centre-back, 24, managed to keep both Lionel Messi and Neymar quiet for large spells of the game.
Eder Militao (Real Madrid)
The Reds collapsed from 2-0 up to concede five goals in a true European hammering at Anfield.
After half time, Militao edged Carlo Ancelotti’s men in front by heading home while unmarked inside Liverpool’s box.
Luka Modric drilled the ball into the area and the Brazilian central defender, 25, peeled away from his marker.
He then steered a bullet header past Alisson from point-blank range.
Bayern Munich’s Dayot Upamecano kept Lionel Messi and Neymar quiet in their win at PSG
Eder Militao got on the scoresheet as Madrid ran out huge 5-2 winners away at Liverpool
Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)
Coman was on hand with the only goal of the game in Bayern’s narrow victory at PSG on Tuesday.
The unmarked French winger, 26, hit it first time after a lovely ball from Alphonso Davies into the box.
Coman’s only goal marked an exact repeat of the scoreline and goalscorer in Bayern’s win over PSG in the 2020 final.
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
During a dismal opening half against PSG, Bayern midfielder Kimmich was the only player to hit the target.
The 28-year-old German was the standout midfielder in Paris, boasting a pass completion of 91 per cent, winning two tackles and having four shots.
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Mahrez fired English champions Manchester City in front after 27 minutes of their 1-1 draw away at RB Leipzig on Wednesday.
Joshua Kimmich was the standout midfielder in Paris as Bayern Munich got the better of PSG
Kingsley Coman scored the only goal of the game as Bayern Munich beat PSG 1-0 on Tuesday
Riyad Mahrez fired Man City in front after 27 minutes at Red Bull Arena against RB Leipzig
City took a deserved lead when Jack Grealish pounced on a loose ball and played a pass through Gundogan’s legs for the Algerian winger, 32, to sweep home.
Mahrez sparkled from the start and relished taking advantage of the increased space. He also took home the Player of the Match award.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo got on the scoresheet in Napoli’s win at Eintracht Frankfurt
Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli)
Eintracht Frankfurt were reduced to 10 men just before the hour against Napoli on Tuesday.
Gli Azzurri captain Di Lorenzo doubled the visitors’ advantage in the 65th minute from a superb backheel assist by the tricky Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
The right-back, 29, confirmed his goal on the night came straight from the training ground.
‘These are moves we practice in training,’ Di Lorenzo told Sport Mediaset.
We are happy with the victory, but the second leg will be another difficult match.
‘You never know what will happen in Europe, so we need to be ready for that game.’
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Vinicius Jr, who scored the winning goal in last season’s final, tormented Liverpool down their right-hand side and brought his team back into the match with a brilliant first goal.
The Brazilian winger, 22, who was man of the match by some distance, equalised before half time following a dreadful mistake by Alisson.
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Benzema handed his side a two-goal lead when his deflected effort flew past Reds goalkeeper Alisson and into the net.
The French striker, 35, later added his second and Real’s fifth of the night to compound Liverpool’s misery and put them out of sight.
His second on the night means Liverpool must recover a three-goal deficit at the Bernabeu on March 15.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
The Egyptian pounced on a rare mistake from Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to move Liverpool 2-0 ahead in the 14th minute.
Salah is Liverpool’s top scorer this season with 19 goals in all competitions and has been one of their star players amid outstanding success in recent years.
Vinicius Jr, the hero of last season’s final, tormented Liverpool down their right-hand side
Mohamed Salah pounced on mistake from Thibaut Courtois to fire Liverpool 2-0 ahead
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