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John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Liverpool-bound Naby Keita joins Neymar in Champions League Best XI

With the penultimate matches in the group stage over, John Brewin picks the best Champions League XI -- with Neymar in after his super performance.

Do you agree? Have your say in the comments below.

ESPN FC's Champions League Team of the Week.

Goalkeeper: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow)

Finally, after conceding in his last 43 matches in the competition, dating back to November 2006, Akinfeev kept a clean sheet in CSKA Moscow's 2-0 win over Benfica. While other goalkeepers gave more spectacular performances, including Basel's Tomas Vaclik in thwarting Manchester United, Akinfeev's achievement must not go unrecognised. CSKA's control of Benfica allowed their goalkeeper to collect his shutout in peace.

Right-back: Michael Lang (Basel)

It was a case of hanging on grimly for the Swiss champions against Manchester United, as they did in that first 45 at St. Jakob-Park, but in the second half, Basel were much the more dangerous. Lang, making overlaps, became an increasing presence in attack from his wing-back position. He tucked in the winner, taking advantage of Daley Blind's lack of positioning.

Centre-back: Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona)

No Lionel Messi for Barca at Juventus, so with Luis Suarez lacking touch up front, the focus turned to the defence. Umtiti continued his excellence this season by marshalling the backline through a 0-0 draw in a stadium where Barca lost 3-1 in the quarterfinals in April. The Frenchman has become a leading man for the Catalans, and a cornerstone of their revival.

Centre-back: Eric Dier (Tottenham)

Tottenham's visit to Borussia Dortmund was a test of character after Saturday's 2-0 loss at Arsenal, and Dier was again asked to drop back into central defence having struggled at the Emirates. Deputising for Toby Alderweireld is a tough discipline, but in Germany, having ridden out an early storm, Dier was far more assured as Spurs came back to win 2-1. He might even have scored, but for a brilliant save from Dortmund keeper Roman Burki.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Borussia Dortmund in front against Tottenham.
Eric Dier held firm as Tottenham overcame Borussia Dortmund.

Left-back: Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)

A tough season so far for Atleti, especially in this competition, but Wednesday's 2-0 defeat of Roma slightly opened the door to the round of 16 even if they require a win at Chelsea and Roma to slip up at home to Qarabag. The plaudits went to Antoine Griezmann for the execution of the opening goal but Luis was typically assured within a collective defensive effort to keep Roma quiet.

Midfield: Ever Banega (Sevilla)

In the first half at the Sanchez Pijuan, Liverpool overran Sevilla and stormed into a 3-0 lead. The story of the second half was Sevilla flying straight back at Liverpool, to come back to 3-3 through Guido Pizarro's injury-time equaliser. Banega, a modern maverick back after a season at Inter Milan, was the engine of that Sevilla dominance. And it was his free kick to Wissam Ben Yedder's header that began the comeback.

Midfield: Naby Keita (RB Leipzig)

Leipzig were irresistible at Monaco on Tuesday, catching the French champions unawares by blazing to a 4-1 win. Their fourth came by half-time through Keita's goal, scored after a neat pirouette and a calm finish. That capped a performance from the Guinean, which would have had Liverpool fans in delicious anticipation of his arrival next summer. They certainly could have done with him during that second half in Seville.

Keita penalty vs Monaco 171121
Naby Keita scored a sumptuous goal as RB Leipzig hammered Monaco 4-1.

Midfield: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

When Fabregas is given space to play, that is usually deadly for Chelsea's opponents. While Willian was the star man in Chelsea's 4-0 win in Baku, it was Fabregas' prompting from midfield that provided the ammunition for the Brazilian and Eden Hazard. Fabregas was especially dominant after the dismissal of Qarabag captain Rashad Sadygov and rounded off his display with a penalty, which he had to take twice after encroachment ruled out his first attempt.

Forward: Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)

The wisdom of Gian Piero Ventura putting Insigne on the bench during Italy's World Cup failure against Sweden last week was brought into sharper focus by another match-winning contribution. Napoli were labouring against Shakhtar Donetsk until Insigne thrashed in a wonderful, powerful free kick to score the first in a 3-0 win. Afterward, coach Maurizio Sarri said he can never rotate out his "world-class" player.

Forward: Bas Dost (Sporting Lisbon)

Sporting's Dutch striker is a cult hero, and his two goals, one in each half, in a 3-1 defeat of Olympiakos gave his club the glimmer of a chance of qualification for the round of 16. All they must do is win at Barcelona, where their 6-foot-5 striker will have to be on the same form as Wednesday night. Dost's first came from a neat finish after an excellent run and cross from Gelson Martins, while the second was a header after a corner.

Neymar was at his blistering best in Paris Saint-Germain's massive win over Celtic

Forward: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

PSG are bookmakers' favourites to be this season's European champions, and Wednesday night's 7-1 humiliation of Celtic provided an awesome demonstration of their attacking capabilities. Perhaps Celtic poked the bear too early by scoring in the first minute before Neymar led the charge by scoring the French giants' first two goals, both converted from the inside left channel from which he is deadly.

John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.


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