Osimhen headlines team of the round of 16 first leg

Victor Osimhen has been on fire this season

UCL Osimhen headlines team of the round of 16 first leg

Tunde Young 01:16 - 24.02.2023

An XI of outstanding players from all eight games in the latest round of UEFA Champions League action.

The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 is halfway through with eight games producing premium thrills and excitement in the first leg fixtures.

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Quite a number of players have entered the spotlight in the last two weeks and announced themselves on the big stage so far.

Here’s a Pulse Sports XI of the most outstanding players in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first legs in a 4-2-2-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund) v Chelsea

German forward Karim Adeyemi dominated the headlines in the first leg for his fufu-inspired goal but the real hero in Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 win against Chelsea was on the other end of the pitch.

Gregor Kobel made seven saves in Dortmund's win over Chelsea

Swiss goalkeeper Gregor Kobel kept Der BVB in the game with a stellar performance highlighted by seven saves, repeatedly foiling Chelsea's attempts to seal a slender advantage heading into the second leg.

Central defender: Kim Min-Jae (Napoli) v Eintracht Frankfurt

Napoli eased to a 2-0 win away at Eintracht Frankfurt and one of the key players responsible for the clean sheet is South Korean central defender Kim Min-Jae.

Eintracht Frankfurt - SSC Neapel, UEFA Champions League Min-jae Kim (SSC Neapel, 3). Achtelfinale-Spiel der UEFA Champions League zwischen Eintracht Frankfurt und SSC Neapel am 21. Februar 2023 im Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt am Main., Frankfurt am Main Hessen Deutschland Deutsche Bank Park *** Eintracht Frankfurt SSC Napoli, UEFA Champions League Min jae Kim SSC Napoli, 3 round of 16 UEFA Champions League match between Eintracht Frankfurt and SSC Napoli on 21 February 2023 at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt am Main , Frankfurt am Main Hesse Germany Deutsche Bank Park Kessler-Sportfotografie

The 26-year-old was rock solid with seven clearances, five tackles, one interception, won all five of his aerial duels, won seven out of nine ground duels and completed 125 of 132 pass attempts at a 95% success rate.

Central defender: Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig) v Manchester City

Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol had a great game against Manchester City, helping RB Leipzig avoid defeat in the first leg with a goal in the 1-1 result.

Josko Gvardiol (Leipzig), FEBRUARY 22, 2023 - Football Soccer : Gvardiol celebrate after his goal during UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st leg match between RB Leipzig 1-1 Manchester City FC at the RB Arena in Leipzig, Germany. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN (211484857) AFLOSPORT

Gvardiol had two clearances and a block while also completing 82% of his passes but his 70th-minute equaliser was his most notable contribution against the English giants.

Right back: Giovanni di Lorenzo (Napoli) v Eintracht Frankfurt

A clean sheet and a brilliant goal for Napoli against Eintracht Frankfurt was enough to seal Italian right fullback Giovanni di Lorenzo's place among the Champions League elite in the last round of games.

Di Lorenzo doubled Napoli's advantage

The Napoli captain got on the end of a beautifully constructed team move to finish brilliantly from the edge of the box in the 65th minute and seal a comfortable 2-0 win for his team in the first leg away from home.

Left back: Zaidu Sanusi (Porto) v Inter Milan

Zaidu Sanusi was on the losing side for Porto against Inter Milan but the Nigerian defender still had a phenomenal game at left back for his team in a 1-0 defeat.

Zaidu Sanusi could not help Porto avoid a defeat against Inter Milan

The 25-year-old made eight clearances and five tackles in San Siro as well as winning all five of his ground duels in a game where he also came close to scoring but was denied by an Andre Onana double save.

Central midfielder: Luka Modric (Real Madrid) v Liverpool

37-year-old Luka Modric demonstrated that age is indeed just a number in Real Madrid's 5-2 demolition of Liverpool with a stellar midfield display at Anfield.

Sports Press Photo
Liverpool, England, Feb 21st 2023 Luka Modric goes off during the 2022 23 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at Anfield in Liverpool, England. (Richard Callis SPP) PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRAxMEX Copyright: xRichardxCallis SPPx spp-en-RiCa-rmc210223-0597 Sports Press Photo

The former Ballon d'Or winner completed 50 of his 58 attempted passes and was successful with three out of four dribbles including a spectacular run that led to Benzema's second goal.

Central midfield: Joao Mario (Benfica) v Club Brugge

Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario played 89 minutes for Benfica in a 2-0 win away at Club Brugge and he was flawless on the night.

Club s Bjorn Meijer and Benfica s Joao Mario fight for the ball during a soccer game between Belgian Club Brugge KV and Portuguese Lisboa e Benfica, Wednesday 15 February 2023 in Brugge, the first leg of the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League competition. BRUNOxFAHY PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBELxFRAxNED x59943466x Belga

The 30-year-old scored for Benfica from the penalty spot and also completed 49 of his 55 passes, creating one big chance which was spurned.

Right winger: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich) v PSG

French winger Kingsley Coman was impressive for Bayern Munich against his former club Paris Saint Germain as he scored the only goal of the first leg.

Kingsley Coman did not celebrate after scoring against his former club PSG

The 26-year-old converted Alphonso Davies's cross beautifully while also having a 94% pass accuracy and completing all five of his attempted dribbles. 

Left winger: Vinicius JR (Real Madrid) v Liverpool

Not only was Vinicius the best player on the pitch when Real Madrid tore Liverpool apart on Tuesday, the Brazilian winger is arguably the player of the match round.

Vinicius Jr tore Liverpool to shreds

Vinicius scored two goals and assisted another for Benzema to help Real Madrid come back from two goals down at Anfield and beat Liverpool 5-2.

Striker: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) v Liverpool

The other Real Madrid player who was heavily involved in Liverpool's downfall is Karim Benzema, the French striker who contributed two second-half goals.

Benzema celebrates after scoring against Liverpool
Benzema celebrates after scoring against Liverpool

The 35-year-old also assisted Vinicius' first goal which kickstarted the comeback for Real Madrid as he put them to the sword with two second-half goals.

Striker: Victor Osimhen (Napoli) v Eintracht Frankfurt

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has lit up Serie A this season with 18 goals in 19 games but there were still questions about his ability to do it on the big stage that is the Champions League and he duly answered them.

Osimhen fired Napoli ahead against Eintracht Frankfurt

The 24-year-old was a thorn in the Frankfurt defence, winning a penalty which Kvaratskhelia missed and then scoring twice in the first half but only one of those stood due to an offside call via VAR intervention.

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