David De Gea, Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller in Champions League Best XI
With the round of 16 first legs over, Nick Ames picks the best Champions League XI with David De Gea the star of the round.
Do you agree? Have your say in the comments below.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)
If it were not for De Gea, United's Champions League campaign would be teetering on the brink. He made two stunning saves at Sevilla, most notably a staggering reaction stop from Luis Muriel, preserving a clean sheet on a night when his side were anaemic at the other end. Muriel himself acknowledged the keeper's brilliance after that stop; United will not want to lean as heavily on him again in the return leg.
Right-back: Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
City and Walker were at full tilt at St Jakob Park and, with space opening up all over the pitch, it proved a perfect night for the full-back to strut his stuff in the opposing half. He broke upfield relentlessly, playing a part in the fourth goal as City swamped their Swiss opponents at times, while defending sensibly whenever the situation demanded. There are tougher challenges to come, but nights like this are what Walker was purchased for.
Centre-back: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
The alarm bells were ringing when Spurs went two early goals down against Juventus but they quickly bolted the door shut and, while their attacking players rightly took the plaudits, their defence deserves credit too. Vertonghen, playing alongside Davinson Sanchez, was a calm, controlled presence and ensured Juve rarely came close to breaching their back line again.
Centre-back: Clement Lenglet (Sevilla)
Sevilla kept Manchester United quiet as an attacking force and their centre-backs, Gabriel Mercado and particularly the outstanding Lenglet, were crucial to doing so. They ensured Romelu Lukaku was given few sniffs of goal and also dealt with the more mobile threat of Alexis Sanchez -- giving the La Liga team a platform for the second leg that they will fancy building on.
Left-back: Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Was this the goal that gave PSG too much of a mountain to climb in their latest bid for top European honours? Marcelo, enterprising as ever, was determined not to shut up shop and, after Real had gone 2-1 up in their meeting at the Bernabeu, kept on coming. He was heavily involved in the build-up, before darting into the box beyond his marker, and arriving at exactly the right time to sweep home their third. Few left-backs in the world would even think to appear in that kind of position.
Central midfield: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
Gundogan's return from long-term injury has become a real success story and the good news kept on coming in Man City's big win at Basel. A flashing near-post header set Pep Guardiola's side on their way to a 4-0 win and was followed in the second half by a beautifully taken curler from 20 yards. "Gundogan is an extraordinary player," Guardiola beamed.
Central midfield: Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)
The Brazilian has been linked with a move to, among other clubs, Manchester City and did his cause for a big transfer no harm with a brilliant first-leg winner against Roma. It was a picture-perfect, dipping free kick from the 24-year-old that gave his compatriot Alisson no chance at it thudded in off the bar.
Attacking midfield: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
Can Eriksen do it against the very biggest fish? It was never really in doubt but Spurs' playmaker underlined it in triplicate with a mesmerising display at Juventus. His drilled free kick secured the draw they richly deserved but his wider performance, pulling the strings to wonderful effect after being moved into the middle with Tottenham 2-0 down, was exemplary and put them in the driver's seat ahead of the second leg.
Left forward: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Some observers suggest Mane has had a patchy season but he was electric in Liverpool's thrashing of Porto. His first goal owed something to a fumble by goalkeeper Jose Sa, but the second was a sharp follow-up after a rapid counter and he completed his hat trick with a rattling late strike from 20 yards. Liverpool and Mane were irresistible; their place in the last eight is secure barring a miracle.
Right forward: Willian (Chelsea)
It was third time lucky for Willian, whose vicious low drive looked for 13 minutes as if it would be enough to down Barcelona. He had hit the post twice in the first half, and buzzed with menace throughout as for long periods the hosts ensured Barca could not quite get going. Antonio Conte believes Chelsea can do "something incredible" in the second leg, and Willian could well be the man to produce it.
Centre forward: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Muller had a difficult time at Bayern under former boss Carlo Ancelotti but looks back in his element under Jupp Heynckes. His two goals against Besiktas were what you might call classic Muller strikes -- both jabbed in from close range -- but the positioning and anticipation that went into them is no mean feat and his first, which broke the resistance of 10-man opponents just before the break, opened the floodgates. He has now scored seven in his last 10 games, having managed just two in the four months prior to that.
Nick Ames is a football journalist who writes for ESPN FC on a range of topics. Twitter: @NickAmes82.