There were twists, turns and moments of true brilliance as the Europa League last 16 came to a thrilling close on Thursday and the standout performers over both legs of each tie have been rewarded with a place in our select XI of the round.
In goal, Basel's Yann Sommer
earns the gloves after two superb displays in his side's impressive
triumph over Red Bull Salzburg, with the Borussia Monchengladbach-bound
man having restricted the tournament's previous top-scorers to just one
goal in 180 minutes as the Swiss champions triumphed 2-1 on aggregate.
was one of AZ's standout performers as they ousted Anzhi Makhachkala,
meaning he lines up at right-back in our side. Valencia defender Jeremy Mathieu
was the best player on the pitch in the first-leg win over Ludogorets
and continued that form in the 1-0 victory in the return encounter. He partners Luisao,
who scored twice in Benfica's 3-1 win over Tottenham and put in another
towering display in the 2-2 draw in Lisbon on Thursday, which included a
vital late interception when Spurs looked on the brink of taking the
tie to extra-time. At left-back, Sevilla's Alberto Moreno
was a thorn in the Betis flank throughout the full 210 minutes of their
gripping tie, notching two assists in the second-leg comeback to boot.
earns a spot on the wing after the Porto man teased Napoli in the first
leg before condemning them to an exit in the second with an astounding
goal. Further infield, Gueida Fofana's
double and all-action display for Olympique Lyonnais effectively ended
their contest with Viktoria Plzen in the first leg, while Andrea Pirlo led Juventus into the last eight with a match-winning display at the Artemio Franchi. On the left flank, Toto Salvio
gets the nod after a quite brilliant showing against Tottenham in which
he set up Ezequiel Garay's goal before helping to lead the
counterattack that sealed their second from the penalty spot.
Up top, Paco Alcacer
gets the nod after two intelligent goalscoring displays against
Ludogorets that belied his tender years. Alongside the 20-year-old is Jackson Martinez,
who scored Porto's winner in the first leg and played a part in both
goals in the return match thanks to some tireless running and strong