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Champions League Team of the Week - Joshua Kimmich, Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe

Sports Mole picks its Team of the Week from the second legs of the Champions League quarter-finals, including Joshua Kimmich, Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe.

Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League following four pulsating quarter-final match-ups.

On Tuesday, PSG beat Barcelona 4-1 in the second leg of their last-eight clash to secure a 6-4 aggregate success, and the French champions will face Dortmund in the final four, with the Bundesliga giants beating Atletico Madrid 4-2 in the second leg of their quarter-final to triumph 5-4.

Bayern beat Arsenal 1-0 on Wednesday to secure a 3-2 aggregate win, before Real Madrid overcame the holders Manchester City on penalties at the Etihad Stadium following a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their quarter-final, which made it 4-4 on aggregate after 120 minutes.

Here, Sports Mole selects its standout XI from the second legs of the 2023-24 Champions League quarter-finals, with a number of players putting in excellent performances.


DEFENCE

Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich in action with Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli on April 17, 2024© Reuters

Andriy Lunin has been the main beneficiary when it comes to Thibaut Courtois's absence, with the Ukraine international currently the number one at Real Madrid, and he was outstanding against Man City on Wednesday, making eight saves in total, including two in the penalty shootout. There were a couple of nervy moments from crosses, but his shot-stopping abilities played a key role in his side's success.

There are three defenders in this side, with two coming from Bayern; Joshua Kimmich was an absolute certainty, with the German scoring a flying header against Arsenal and also putting in an excellent defensive performance, with the Gunners struggling for long spells.

Kimmich's teammate Eric Dier is also included, with the on-loan Tottenham Hotspur centre-back at his best against Mikel Arteta's side, winning two aerial duels and making four tackles, while his pass success rate was 92%, and it was the type of performance that could see him make a late return to the England squad for Euro 2024.

Achraf Hakimi completes the defence, with the 25-year-old in brilliant form against Barcelona. Hakimi provided the assist for Vitinha to score, while he made two tackles, had two successful dribbles and completed 60 of his 66 passes during an excellent all-round performance against the La Liga champions.


MIDFIELD

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham in action with Manchester City's Ruben Dias on April 17, 2024© Reuters

Jude Bellingham was asked to play as almost a centre-forward against Man City in Manchester, and the England international put in a performance beyond his years. The 20-year-old's game intelligence and constant running contributed heavily to Real Madrid ultimately winning on penalties, and he also scored in the shootout. Bellingham made five tackles, meanwhile, and finished with a pass success rate of 94%.

Marcel Sabitzer also features in the middle, having played an important role in Dortmund's success over Atletico. The midfielder scored once and provided two assists in an outstanding performance, with Atletico finding it difficult to get to grips with his movement in Germany.

Raphael Guerreiro was asked to play as a left-sided attacker for Bayern against Arsenal due to the team's injury problems in that area of the field, and he put in a brilliant display. The 30-year-old came up with the assist for Kimmich's header, while he also hit the post early in the second period. It was an intelligent display from Guerreiro, as he played a key role both defensively and offensively for Thomas Tuchel's side.

The midfield is completed by Bradley Barcola, with the 21-year-old excellent in PSG's 4-1 win over Barcelona. The Frenchman came up with the assist for Ousmane Dembele's goal, while he was also brought down by Ronald Araujo in a last-man challenge, which saw the Barcelona defender sent off. Barcola's constant running and movement caused the Catalan outfit all sorts of issues on Tuesday night.


ATTACK

Paris Saint-Germain's  (PSG) Kylian Mbappe with teammates celebrate after the match on April 16, 2024© Reuters

Two of the attackers in this side are from PSG, as it was impossible to leave out either Dembele or Kylian Mbappe considering their performance against Barcelona.

Dembele netted against his former club in the 40th minute and came close to registering again on two further occasions, finishing with five shots in total, while he had four successful dribbles during a fine performance, with Barcelona struggling to deal with the attacker after being reduced to 10 men.

Mbappe sails into the side following his brace in the same match; the France international struggled in the first leg of the quarter-final but registered twice, including one from the penalty spot, in the return fixture, and his use of the ball was also excellent, finishing with a pass success rate of 97%.

The lineup is completed by Dortmund's Niclas Fullkrug, who scored and provided an assist in his side's 4-2 success over Atletico on Tuesday night. The 31-year-old won seven aerial duels and had five shots during a strong performance, with Atletico finding it incredibly difficult to deal with the powerful striker.


SPORTS MOLE'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK

CL TOTW QF2

Sports Mole's Champions League Team of the Week (4-4-2): Lunin; Kimmich, Dier, Hakimi; Barcola, Sabitzer, Bellingham, Guerreiro; Dembele, Fullkrug, Mbappe


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Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich scores against Arsenal on April 17, 2024
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