After tough battles in the Round of 16, the final eight teams of the Champions League have been unveiled: AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester City, Napoli, and Real Madrid. Some players have displayed exceptional performances in the returning matches to help book their team into the next stage of the competition. Let’s look at the best Round of 16 Second leg lineup.
GK: Andre Onana (Inter Milan)
Andre Onana was crucial in Inter Milan’s heroic performance in keeping a clean sheet at Estadio do Dragao. The former Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper made six saves, including three inside the box, to help the Inter advance to the Quarterfinals.
DF: Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)
After putting up a masterclass at Parc de Princes in the opening game, Dayot Upamecano once again displayed his defensive skill in the returning game at home. He excelled defensively and contributed to the build-up with some great long balls.
DF: Matthijs de Ligt (Bayern Munich)
Cannot mention Bayern Munich’s defense without Matthijs de Ligt. He broke out to superstar status and was a defensive juggernaut against PSG. His goalline clearance changed the game’s trajectory and guided the German champion past the Round of 16.
DF: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
There was little to say about Ruben Dias and Manchester City defensively, as their attacks shut down the determination of RB Leipzig. But Ruben Dias is on this list due to his contribution to the attack. Two of his headers indirectly led to Erling Haaland‘s goals.
DF: Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli)
Di Lorenzo finds himself in the Round of 16 best XI again after a fantastic output in the second leg. The Napoli captain providing a beautiful assist to Victor Osimhen was the cherry on top. Napoli and Di Lorenzo prove themselves as the team to beat.
MF: Piotr Zieliński (Napoli)
The Polish international had himself a game against Eintracht Frankfurt. He bossed the midfield, per usual, providing five key passes and two big chances. One was a penalty, which he converted to settle the score 3-0.
MF: Joao Mario (Benfica)
Joao Mario has been one of the most impressive midfielders in this year’s campaign. Despite missing a few shots in the opening minutes, he registered an assist to his teammate Goncalo Ramos before scoring one from the penalty spot.
MF: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
It is visible how Manchester City struggled with Kevin De Bruyne out in the first leg in Germany. In his game back, the Belgian magician controlled the game’s tempo perfectly in favor of the Cityzen and grabbed himself a stunning goal from outside the penalty area. It could have been two if his shot in the first half didn’t hit the crossbar, but it resulted in a Haaland goal anyways.
FW: Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Victor Osimhen has been one of the most impressive strikers this season. He displayed his strength, finishing versatility, and positioning to score a brace with a header and an easy tap-in. Osimhen increased his tally to 23 goals in 28 games this season.
FW: Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Is there anything else to say? Erling Haaland is the most deserved pick in this fixture’s best lineup. Five goals against RB Leipzig show his true killer instinct inside the box. They put him into the Champions League history book and atop the goalscorer leaderboard. What a machine he is!
FW: Goncalo Ramos (Benfica)
One of Qatar World Cup’s most exciting finds, Goncalo Ramos, continues to shine at the club level. Minutes after assisting Rafa Silva for the opening goal, the Portuguese dribbled through the Club Brugge defense and slid in a calm finish. Ramos completed his brace in the second half in an outstanding 5-1 victory.
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